Session 6 – The Battle Continues
We are racing after Omast Frum to support his position, but verifying everyone is out of the lower quarter is taking more time than expected. We’ve found a bevy of orcs and, while we’ve defeated them and cleared out a tower, our last battle with a war drummer has seriously depleted our resources. The night is long, and the fires of destruction burn bright. The tower grants us a wider-view of the lower quarter and the devastation caused by the rocks covered with pitch. This is no simple orc raid (as if we doubted it before); this is an all-out invasion the likes of which no one of my generation has ever seen. This is what we have trained for all our lives and prayed that it would never happen.
With the war drum silent, the screams of the fire have become louder. We must decide what to do next and find Frum.
<!— more —>
Sunday, 19th of Gozrun 471 (continued…)
The lower quarter seems bereft of people; we suspect that a few might still be hiding in their houses. But the pitch covered rocks are devastating the landscape and safety is not found cowering under one’s bed. From our vantage point atop the tower, we see fires and dark shapes passing between buildings. Many bodies dot the open spaces. We can see about a dozen orcs in groups of 2-3 running around. We occasionally hear screams and calls for help, but placing them is nigh unto impossible. We shall just have to descend and do what we can.
Out by the main gate, which is open, there’s a battle going on. There’s a large lumbering shape in the gateway, some 14-15’ tall. There’s a lot of smoke in the air, making it hard to see into the upper quarter. At the base of the cliff there’s a contingent of would-be raiders who’ve been thwarted as we cut their rope ladder. They are occasionally shooting arrows up at us. We are slightly beyond their range, but a lucky shot could still be dangerous.
Shamus finds the following loot on the war drummer:
- Big base drum (the size of a barrel)
- Stack of parchment scrolls.
- 2x cause fear
- 1x remove fear
- 1x grease
- 1x summon monster I (Taken by Shamus)
- Pennant attached to the war axe.
- 2 Flasks
- 1 is magical – cure moderate wounds
- 1 not.
- Thin bone with feathers attached (fetish) – wand (magic) cure light wounds 24 charges – command word is j-lin-garr; taken by Tiva
- Alchemical rock in a pouch (not magical) – thunderstone
- Hauberk and leggings of masterwork chain mail
- Light steel shield
- Variety of axes (battle axe, 5 throwing axes)
- Drumming sticks (2 beaters)
As we watch, wargs ride in through the breached gate. There’s a group of 4 orcs that are carrying a ram. They race towards the inner gate and start pounding upon it. With luck, we’ll find Frum there.
Below us, in the tower, we see 4 orcs come out of a nearby building. We take out our bows and crossbows and pelt them from above. The orcs are intent on trying to reset the rope ladder, although one limps back into the building to hide.
Tiva drops a thunderstone on the orcs atop the rope ladder. It doesn`t go off, but bounces harmlessly down the cliff-face instead. Sif, Torva, and I head down. While Sif is nimble enough, Torva and I loose our grip on the greased ladder, and tumble down onto the closed trap door. Thank you Shamus!
From above, Shamus continues trying to nail the orcs. He uses his conjured balls of acid on them. But the orcs have raised shields to protect the rope-bridge and are crowded tightly together. He can no longer see what’s happening beneath shield and tarp.
Tiva waits until the ladder is clear, then climbs down with ease. Sif helps Tova get back up on her feet and Tova opens the trap door and goes down to the ground floor. Then Sif and I follow. Before Shamus can fire at the orcs (and get clipped by an arrow from the orcs below), Sif is out the door roaring at the orcs as she attacks!
The female orc (#1) throws the rope down to her compatriots on the ground. They anchor the rope and start climbing up. Orc #2 hands the female (orc #1) his shield and takes out his falchion. He bypasses Sif’s block and slices open her arm. Orc #3 tries to swing his double-headed axe, but it gets caught up in the lintel of the tower.
Tiva follows as Tova races into the nearby building after orc #4. I follow Sif and attack Orc #3. The female (Orc #1) throws a hand-axe at Sif, but she manages to dodge it.
Tiva gets behind Sif and heals her with the drummer’s wand.
As Tova steps into the building, the injured orc (#4) turns and yells at her, and his face is flattened by the hammer that rolls into it.
Back outside, Sif steps up, swings and takes out another orc (#3). I manage to connect with Orc #1. The blow from my Lucerne Hammer tears off her ear and Orc #1 reals back as the hammer slams into her shoulder. Shamus’ continues firing down at the orcs and he warns us that more are starting to climb the rope.
As Tova starts working her way around the building towards us, Sif swings a few times at the female (#1). She manages to hit the orc (#1) under her chin with the haft of the axe, knocking her off the cliff. She falls to her death and Shamus informs us that orcs don’t bounce.
With a mighty swing, Tiva cuts the rope bridge free. Again. We spare the falling orcs no time.
I strikes orc (#2) with my hammer, it glances off his head and smacks into his shoulder. The orc reals back and tries to keep his balance on the edge of the cliff. Just then Shamus hits him squarely in the chest with a ball of acid. Orc #3 tumbles off the cliff, and dies.
At the bottom of the cliff, the surviving orcs are upset and scream at us. A few more arrows arch over the cliff, but they fall harmlessly against the tower or into the distance.
Shamus comes down the ladder, carefully and we regroup at the trees.
Tiva heals Shamus twice with the wand, and heals Sif once.
In the loot scattered about, there’s 3 jars of armour ointment. We take that and a bundle of 20 tindertwigs. There’s more to take, but right now we are focused on what we can use in the continuing battle.
The group heads to a large residence and the Killing Grounds to check from survivors. The name of the familiar bar has never been so ironic. We hear no one inside the nearby residences, but there’s a song coming from the Killing Ground. Maybe it’s a bunch of free-towners, caught inside when the chaos started?
Inside are a half-orc woman we don’t recognize, one human at the bar, and another in the back tossing furniture. There are four locals, dead. It looks like these three came in, killed the locals, and then started drinking. Tiva is incensed that her favourite bar has been so defiled. The rest of us are more tired than angry at this point, but still – these folk are either part of the invasion or taking advantage of it. Either way, it’s not going to end nicely.
The man behind the bar (foot soldier 1) sees us come in. He takes out his great sword and stumbles forward. Awkwardly he lunges and his great sword takes a deep bite into the door frame. He wrests it loose. The man from the back (foot soldier 2) pulls forth his great sword and stumbles after his friend. Both these fellows seem a bellows short of a good smithy. Shamus heads to the back of the tavern. Sif tries to cleave through, but her great axe catches in the doorframe. My hammer is equally fouled. Tiva and Torva hit foot soldier 1 as he comes through the door. His wide swing misses me.
As foot soldier 1 walks out of the bar, he gets hit square in the face by the backswing of Tova’s chain. The blow spins him where he stands and he falls into the ½ orc who was coming up behind him. Foot soldier 2 walks out of the tavern and stabs into Tova’s thigh, running her through!
Shamus makes it to the backdoor. Bauxite joins him.
I take a few steps back and lunges forward, skewering the ½ in the face and spiking her to the wall! Tiva steps up behind her sister, and heals Tova. Sif swings wide at Foot soldier 1.
Foot soldier 2 tries to stumble away, but Tova kicks his sword away. She swings, her hammer comes in low and strikes him at crotch level. His pelvis collapses under the impact and he crumbles to the ground, dying slowly.
I enter the bar and start checking the fallen townsfolk. I find no survivors.
Shamus finds Rabius, the owner of the tavern, hiding behind the bar. He tells us they were here when the raid started. As soon as the drumming started, they pulled out their weapons and started killing everyone. To avoid that fate, he feigned death. As he heads out he hands a bunch of flasks to Tiva. He gives her 2 Sobering potions and 2 potions of remove sickness.
Each of the foot soldiers has a potion flask (2), marked with the triple rings of healing. The ½ orc has 6 potions as well. Shamus examines them and learns that they include Featherfall and hide from undead.
Sif and I trade up our splintmail armour to chainmail quickly stripped off the foot soldiers. With a few loose leather ties, we make the armour fit. It is grizzly work.
We head back to the cliff. Along the way we come across a dead human that Tiva recognizes the young man as an acolyte from the counting house. His name was Abeyar. He was killed by 4 javelins. She detects an aura from his boot. In a sheath in the boot is a brass wand. She says it has a conjuration aura and is a cure light wounds wand with 9 charges. Its password: Rolphin. We offer up quick prayers in our passing. I hope his journey to heaven is easier than his passing from here.
From ahead, we hear voices. Tova leads the way towards them. Two ½ orcs are being fended off by a human with a small spiked mace. Tova surprises them by ordering them to stand down.
The female ½ orc quickly looks back and forth between the Tova and the cornered human. She takes a ½ step away from Tova and whips out a war hammer from beneath her cloak and strikes Tova in the crotch with the blunt end of her hammer. Sif steps into the fray and attacks the female ½ orc. Sif’s giant axe tears apart her pauldron and leaves a bloody gash on her chest. The ½ orc staggers back and holds the wound closed.
Shamus runs through the fence. Bauxite follows. I take a wide swing over the ladies head and smacks the ½ orc upside the head. She looses her balance and tumbles into Sif. Sif throws the ½ orc off her into the ground. Tova’s swing misses, and so she moves for a better position. The heat of the nearby blazing tree makes her sweat profusely.
The human at the end of the alley continues to threaten the two ½ orcs. The male ½ orc steps across his compatriot and takes a swipe at Sif. He hits her squarely in the face and chest, breaking her collar bone. Tiva strikes back and misses. Sif’s great axe swing is lopsided due to her injuries.
Shamus convinces the human to come away from the fight, backing further down the alley. He conjures and lobs a ball of acid at the ½ orc in the alley to cover the human’s retreat.
The male ½ orc’s next swing knocks Sif from her feat and into unconsciousness. Tiva rushes to her side and tends to her wounds, bringing her back from the brink.
I step around Tiva and take a swing at the ½ orc, my hammer strikes him in the gut. He takes a few steps backwards, trying to straighten up. But before he can, Tova swings her chain and its flail rattles across his armour. He pulls back and drinks a potion, then takes another shot at Tova, striking deep into her mid-section.
Sif stands up and steps into the clear. We all flail against the ½ orc who seems too quick to be hit by anything but the lobbing of acid balls from Shamus. Sheer rage bubbles up through Sif, she roars and charges the ½ orc, felling him with a single blow.
We search the female ½ orc’s body and find a token identifying her as Urnsel.
The human’s name is Aeril. He’s a merchant from out of town. He came back for a weighty small wooden case. It’s a fine set of merchant’s scales made out of platinum. He gives it to us before running off to safety. Somethings defy explanation. Knowing that his way is mostly clear, we let him go with directions to the holdout just outside the Dwarven gate.
The female ½ orc had the following in her possession:
- Potion of Vanish.
- Sealed flasks, highly breakable, a grenade?
- Cloak of Shield (taken by Tiva)
The male ½ orc had the following:
- 2 potions (Bull’s Strength, Enlarge Person)
- Masterwork weapons: Sap
- Sack: gold coins
- Gold necklace
- Masterwork Breastplate
We find Frum alone manning the barricades as the orcs continue to pound on the gatehouse’s inner doors. He warns us of looters in a nearby building.
We go directly to the building and Tiva kicks in the door!
Shamus uses the wand of sandstorm and two orcs fall to the tsunami of colored sand. Sif swings at orc #1, her axe sinking into his arm. Tova steps up behind Shamus and strikes Orc 2, sending him back a few paces from the impact of her flail. As two orcs scramble out of the building with their arms full of stolen goods, one (orc #3) runs right into Tova’s chain! He stumbles back, staggered. The other drops his goods and strikes Shamus in the chest.
Shamus grabs his axe, and tries an overhand swing at Orc #4. He misses, then quickly gets out of the way. Sif steps up and strikes at Orc #4, killing him.
Tova kills orc #3 with her back-swing. We quickly dispatch the two that are on the ground.
We heal up and head back out to find Frum warning us that dogs and their beast-master are approaching.
Shamus steps forward and fires his crossbow at dog #1. The bolt bites deeply into the dog’s flank. Sif takes up her bow, and fires at the dogs, but misses. The beast-tamer lets loose the chain and all three dogs run at us.
One bites Shamus in the ankle. Another tries to bite him, but snaps his teeth on his leg. The third runs past Shamus and tries to bite Sif. She manages to fight it off with her haft.
Tiva fires her crossbow at the Beast-tamer. The Beast-tamer snaps off the bolt’s shaft. Reaches over her shoulder, she grabs a javelin and throws it at Tiva with deadly accuracy; the javelin pierces her left side.
Frum works on untying ropes near the far-side of the barricade. The giant bundle of logs at the barricade shift as he works.
I come up behind Shamus and smack a dog in the muzzle with my Lucerne Hammer. Torva swings at the dogs, who dance out of the way of her chain.
Shamus steps away from the dogs and throws an acid bolt at one before shifting past the barricade. Sif swings wildly at the dogs and misses. The dog turns and clamps down hard on Sif’s arm. Another dog tries to bite me, but he misses.
Tiva turns the healing wand on herself. And the beast-tamer drinks a potion.
I step back, and with a careful swing, kill one of the dogs. Tova runs past the dog to attack the Beast-tamer. The dog takes a bite at her as she goes by. She swings at the Beast-tamer and kills her with a mighty blow from her coiling chain.
Shamus shoots at the dog and misses. He heads towards Frum. Sif kills the last dog and wipes her axe clean on the corpse.
Frum yells at us to form-up. Tiva spends time healing us all back up to full. We crawl over the barricade and get ready for the Orcs to break in.