Doom Under Tarkaltul Part 2

GM: Scott (Ashiel)

Players: Lernina, Mange, Mara, Ignaeus "Iggy", Slick

Summary
After the orc raid on their caravan, Captain Felton asked the party to assist in recovering Sarah Dandelian, a kidnapped scholar, who was taken in the orc raid on the caravan. He explained that he couldn't leave the caravan unguarded after the recent incident, but that the team had proven themselves to be an elite group of individuals; so he offered to pay them what he could for her return - a sum of 300 gold coins, which amounted to about 50gp for each adventurer. He was fearful for her life and dignity.

The party scouted out an old abandoned dwarf fortress that was little more than a set of 20ft walls; but it was a very defensible position. The orc warriors were experts at what they did. The place was patrolled by a lot of them, with wolf-bred guard dogs patrolling with them at all hours. The party attempted to find out what they could.

Under the cover of invisibility, Lernina managed to get atop the walls of the fortress and find Sarah within a shaman's den, tied down naked to a large stone table as the shaman ritualistically marked her body with tattoos are scar-emblems, healing her wounds as he was doing so with magic; slowly but surely etching many orcish blessings and prayers across her body as she squirmed beneath the knife and needles. Several guard dogs laid in the room, and lots of guards were nearby so Lernina decided to take what she found back to the others and explain the situation. Having recalled the markings, she used some shapeshifting magic to assume the appearance of Sarah as she was on the table - which was a little embarrassing - so that the others in the party could translate their meaning. Sarah also relayed that there was a massive ogre who seemed to be running the show.

After determining from the runes and knowledge of orc tradition in the area, the party realized that Sarah was going to be offered up as a wife or concubine to the ogre warchief that was leading them. Realizing that time was of the essence, they decided to attack a twilight, when the light was dim but not dark; so as to catch the orcs at their weakest - when their dark-vision would be obscured and they could still hide.

The party launched an absolutely spectacular assault on the fortress, pushing their way through orcs and wardogs, many of them ogre-sized themselves after drinking flasks of Gruumsh's Gift (aka enlarge person potions) and wielding massive pole-arms; which complicated things for the group. Kanketh stealthfully slipped into the fortress in the darkness, using her shadow-creature ability to fade out in the darkness. After the group made an explosive entrance by tearing many of the orcs apart and igniting a large number of trees outside the fortress, the ogre and orcs went on the warpath; which is when Kanketh struck…appearing from the shadows and beheading the orcish shaman in a single strike from her shaping-greatsword; but then was subsequently mauled by dogs and thrown to the ground; which is when things started getting rough.

Mange heroically swam upstream a river that was partially flowing from underneath the fortress itself, and jumped up through a waterfall and into the shaman's room. He was faced with overwhelming numbers of giant orcs, their ogre leader, and far too many of their attack dogs. Despite this, he literally ran through them, slamming blades aside when possible or enduring the bloody beating he was receiving so he could get to Kanketh who was getting mauled by the dogs. He crashed into the pit of dogs and began tearing them off his friend; ripping them off of her like a much mightier beast. The giant-orcs, dogs, and ogres flanked them and trapped them inside the room; and each of them took turns throwing Mange around the room with their huge glaives. Had Mange been any normal warrior, he wouldn't have survived the onslaught after the first swing; but he was defying all of them in hopes of saving Kanketh and Sarah the Captive.

Meanwhile, Slick, Ignaeus, and Mara were busting through the southern defenses of the tower, while Lernina was burning through orcs on the way through the north. Both attempted to flank the flankers, and rescue their friends; and they were doing an impressive job of it, as Mara called forth a carrion-crawler beast, and Slick downed one of the enlarge person flasks the orcs were carrying. Ignaeus was blowing orcs to chunky bits with the raw power of sonic-bursts.

However, inside, Mange grabbed Kanketh and Sarah and hoisted them onto his shoulders and took off. However, even the mighty Mange couldn't defend himself that well, and ended up hitting the floor as a bloody mess. It was a wonder that he wasn't completely dead; as his flesh and body were mangled like a stuffed toy attacked by a pack of wolves. Kanketh dropped to her knees and begged forgiveness in orcish; but realized she was likely not getting out of this situation in one piece. Fortunately, Lernina arrived on the scene and hurled a flask of fireball amongst them, annihilating almost all of them. Mara, Iggy, and Slick were now punching through the southern area and blocking in the ogres; with spell, arrow, and crawler crashing through the southern flanks. Suddenly it was the Ogre against the heroes.

Realizing he was in a now very hopeless situation, he decided he would take as many of them out as he could. He violently attacked Kanketh with both of his dual-glaives; slashing and spinning them violently. Kanketh, still bleeding from the dog bites and orc blades, desperately dived between the blades and caught them against the flat of her sword as they came swinging back around. The force of them hitting the blade flat - braced by her arms on both ends - threw her to the ground; but she was unharmed. As he brought his blades up for the finishing strike; he was suddenly engulfed by fire Lernina was throwing across him; like fruit picked from a burning tree. The ogre fell to the ground, consumed by the flames.

They had managed to survive, and they rescued Sarah. Sarah cried and wept in Lernina's arms, still mostly naked other than the orcish wedding jewelry that she had been made to wear; she released all of her fear and pain as she came down off her adrenaline rush while holding onto one of her saviors. The heroes carried her out of the fortress. Poor Sarah will have to live with this; and her body is engraved and decorated forever with markings that the orcs blessed her with; a continual reminder of her experiences. However, the adventurers lifted her when she was most lost and broken, and now she has a chance to rise above her experiences and become stronger for them - a chance at a deeper life.

Mara and the others not carrying Sarah out explored the fortress treasury…

Rewards and Loot
Everyone received 1,600 XP as well as the following treasures:
Orc Treasure Horde
The party, after defeating their enemies, looting the bodies, and exploring the treasury of the fortress has acquired the following:

  • 30,000 Silver pieces
  • 45,000 Copper Pieces
  • Hand of the Mage (900gp)
  • Bag of Tricks (Gray, 900gp)
  • Pearl of Power I (1,000gp)
  • Gauntlet of Ogre Strength +1 (1,000gp)
  • Two Masterwork Glaives (310gp each)
  • Cloak of Resistance +1 (1,000gp)
  • Bag of Blue Quartz marbles (50gp)
  • 8 potions of Enlarge Person (50gp each)
  • 24 suits of studded leather armor and 24 glaives (840gp total)

In addition to…
A mysterious tome which has a variety of strange runes inscribed on its pages next to many pictures; and emits an aura of transmutation. The tome however appears to be little more than a lot of pornographic images drawn inside of it. (Later, Kanketh determined the book's secrets…)

Adventure Log: DuT - Part 2 - BotB

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