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Adventure Log, Session 8 The Old Orc Temple, Part 5

General Summary

Elitheris dragged the last dead guard from the hallway and into the room, out of sight of the wounded Orc who watched the corridor. She had hit him with an arrow, but didn’t think it discouraged him much. She, and Taid and Eykit, knew that he was still out there, still a threat, albeit a minor one. But there was no hope of surprise, not any longer. Whomever was in charge knew they were there. The question was, what were the enemies going to do about it? The resistance had been rather…weak…so far.   The incessant drums and chanting, with the occasional yet regular fits of screaming, was a constant roar in the background. Perhaps whatever they were doing was keeping that great mass of people busy….   “Where’s Mr. Wiggles?” Elitheris asked. Taid shrugged, and Eykit merely pointed out the trail of blood that ran from the room up the stairs, into the Mystic Mist which still made the corridor at the top of the stairs glimmer with motes of opalescent sparkles. She swore, worried about what state she was going to find him in. After all, it had been about ten minutes since the fight, and that was a lot of blood on the stair treads. She hurried upstairs.   Eykit and Taid started searching the bodies, but Taid stopped and went to find Elitheris, thinking his healing magics might be required. Eykit finished up with the bodies, then followed upstairs.   Elitheris followed the trail of blood. Even someone without her tracking skills would be able to follow it. It went down the corridor and around the corner, into the large room with the oversized conference table. As she got to the doorway, she could hear him whining in pain. He lay in a pool of blood, in the shadows, under the table. The Elf maiden crawled under the table to get to him, and saw that the blow from the axe had hit his back, deflected off his ribcage, sliding down the bones in a deep cut that created a flap of tissue. Mr. Wiggles was covered in blood, and Elitheris could tell he was in severe pain.   He was still bleeding, and Elitheris knew she had to get that stopped. She got out the bandages from her pack, the blood soaking through the knees of her gambeson leggings. The bleached white bandages showed a growing red stain almost immediately. Her attempt to staunch the bleeding had failed. Wiping tears from her eyes, she set about casting a Stop Bleeding spell. She didn’t have time to create a ritual for it to make it more effective; she just cast the spell. Motes of pinkish light only she could see flowed from nowhere into her hands, then down into the dog’s weakly panting body. The spreading red stain stopped growing.   But he had lost a lot of blood, and he didn’t seem to be in any hurry to move at all. His wheezing panting had become slightly less labored, but not nearly enough for comfort. Elitheris cast another spell, this time one of lesser healing. She mentally kicked herself about not having a chance to spend time with that book she found about major healing. But she didn’t have the book with her, it was in a safe at an inn, and she didn’t know the spell of major healing. She did, however, know the spell of lesser healing. However, she wasn’t very good at it. She tried anyway, but it fizzled.   By this time Taid had arrived. Eykit had stayed at the top of the stairs, in the mist, as a lookout in case the enemy came calling. Taid had done a lot of casting during the fights they had just had, and hadn’t had much time to recover his strength. Elitheris tossed him her ruby powerstone. “Here,” she said, “use this. Help Mr. Wiggles.”   Taid nodded. He held the stone, and used it to power his spell of greater healing. It turns out he wasn’t much better of a caster than Elitheris: his spell fizzled out too. He tried again, although he had to use his own mana, rather than that of the powerstone. That spell didn’t work either. He was too tired to cast another; his mana reserves were tapped out.   Mr. Wiggles was in bad shape. He had taken a major wound, then bled for a long time. He wasn’t in any shape to move, but the Stop Bleeding spell at least had stabilized his condition. As long as he didn’t take any more damage, he might pull through. Elitheris took her cloak and wrapped it around him, to prevent shock and to at least give him some comfort. And it smelled like her, which she hoped would also comfort him.   The three adventurers reluctantly left him and went back downstairs. They had to get some information, and the only people available were the prisoners in the cells, most of which were catatonic, despondent, or too wounded and abused to be much help. Eykit crouched down in front of a door, and picked the lock. The locks on these doors all looked the same, as if they had all been purchased in a single job lot. They weren’t much of a lock; Eykit had picked its type before dozens of times, and the lock sprang open quickly.   Inside the cell, a simple windowless rectangle, closed by a sturdy wooden door with only a grate for a small window (and Eykit also noticed that unlike a standard prison door, there was no slot to feed the prisoners) was a man. He was dirty, disheveled, bruised, cut, abraded, emaciated, and starved. He likely hadn’t been fed in days, if not longer.   Eykit questioned him, but he wasn’t able to get much out of him. The prisoners weren’t really given much information. They had been captured by slavers, then sold to what could only be some kind of cult. There were several priests, and dozens of followers. Some of the followers were made into guards. They worship something called Ghebbiloth, and the head priest is named Narghest Ratchool. The poor man really didn’t know much else.   Taid told him to go up the stairs, and that there weren’t any more guards up there. The man ran (if the hobbling, weak gait could be called anything but a stumbling shamble) up the stairs, but as he approached the dense fog a sense of fear and dread filled him. He didn’t want to go into that. He hurried down the stairs. “There is a fog there. I think something hungry is in it!”   “No, it’s safe,” Taid replied. “It’s ours. It won’t hurt you. Follow the wall until you pass through it. You’ll be fine.”   The man turned back to the mist. It roiled, forming ominous shapes. He steeled himself, fists at his sides. The alternative was to stay down here, with the cultists, the scent of blood and sweat and body odors suffusing the air. And then die. He strode up the stairs, his eyes closed in fear, into the mist. A few moments later, he came out of the mist and almost stumbled down the stairs. “What the?” he mumbled, then turned around and went back in with only a little hesitation. The disorienting effects of the defensive spell had gotten him turned around. After a few moments, Eykit could hear his bare feet slapping the stone floor getting fainter and fainter as he fled down the corridor.   The three of them looked down the corridors. The enemy had moved into position. Down the western hallway was a robed Goblin with a bone mask on his face. The Orc with the wounded arms was with him, still keeping an eye on the three intruders that had infiltrated his temple.
Priest Nopozu Ipiir   At the end of the eastern hallway was another Goblin, armed with a crossbow.
Goblin Protector   There were two robed Humans behind him, also each holding a crossbow and wearing a bone mask.
Priest Severin Hawthorn
Priest Drenn Bakerson (without his mask)   The Goblin raised his weapon, aimed, and loosed. The bolt skittered off of the wall next to Taid, striking sparks. He exchanged crossbows with the Human to his right. He raised that crossbow, and Taid, Elitheris, and Eykit ducked behind the corner.   Taid checked the masked Goblin to the west. A crackling ball of fire formed in the Goblin’s right hand. It got bigger and brighter, then he threw it down the corridor. It made a roaring, whooshing sound, then impacted the floor by one of the openings. Eykit dove into the room at the base of the stairs, the explosion slamming him into the wall. He hurriedly patted out the little bits of embers on his clothes that threatened to burst into flame.
  They could hear the Goblin cackling as he strode towards them.   Elitheris cast a simple illusion; it was vision only, but that’s really all they needed. She had Eykit pose as if picking a lock, and cast the illusion of him at a nearby door, picking a lock. The cracking clank of a crossbow being fired sent a bolt through the illusion, although at a range of twenty yards, in bad lighting, as far as the firer was concerned, it was a miss. He swore, and swapped crossbows again. The two Humans were recocking the crossbows. At the moment, they were his loaders.   Eykit, meanwhile, had unfurled his Darkness Strip, laying it across the hallway, between them and the fire-flinging Goblin. It blocked vision, hopefully giving them some time to deal with the three enemies down the other hallway. Eykit pulled his knife, his back up against the wall at the corner, ready to stab anyone who came through that wall of darkness. Every now and then, he would pop his head into the six inch thick field of darkness in order to get a glimpse of the mage’s progress. He appeared to just be standing there, trying to figure out where the field of darkness came from, and whether it was safe for him to advance.   Elitheris and Taid lined up shots on the three guys at the other end of the hallway. One of the Humans had a staff, the other had large knives.   Elitheris’ arrow flew true, slamming into the Goblin crossbowman’s chest, sending him hurtling back on stumbling legs to lie on his back, two feet of arrow shaft sticking up like a flag on a hill. The man with the knives, Priest Drenn Bakerson, drew them, one in each hand, and crouched in a fighter’s stance.   Taid’s bolt also flew true, burying itself to the fletching in “Dances with Knives’” chest, knocking him down and leaving him unconscious. His knives skittered off in two different directions, clanging on the stone floor.   The remaining Human, Priest Severin Hawthorn, ducked around the corner. He wasn’t much of a crossbowman. Or much of a warrior either. He preferred his enemies tied up and not fighting back.   Taid turned, to go after the Goblin mage. “Hey! Burning Man! I’m coming for ya!” He readied his old crossbow. It wasn’t as powerful as the one he had picked up recently, but it was loaded.   Elitheris advanced toward the corner. The Human shakily raised the crossbow he had loaded, but when he shot it, the bolt flew two feet over Elitheris’ head to glance off the stone ceiling and a wall before clattering on the ground. He readied his staff.   Elitheris’ next arrow took him in the arm, punching completely through it, the blood-soaked tip sticking eight inches out from the arm. He screamed, his arm crippled, the shaft interfering with anything he could do with it. Elitheris’ next arrow took him in the vitals, punching through his spleen and pancreas. He fell back, unmoving.   The Dwarf stepped through the wall of darkness emitted by the Darkness Strip. There was the Goblin mage, striding towards their position. Flames began to spin in a tight ball in his hand. Taid aimed, shot, and missed, the mage sidestepping as he dodged.   The ball of fire is his hand grew, forming into a missile, ready to be thrown, and Taid was a sitting duck. Thinking quickly, Eykit reached into his coin purse, and wincing with concept that he was about to throw away some of his hard-won money, tossed the handful of small, shiny objects at the Goblin mage. The mage, not knowing immediately what they were, dodged out of the way by reflex, and it messed up his aim as he tossed the ball of fire at Taid.   The ball of fire exploded six feet in front of Taid, the force of the rather small blast forcing the Dwarf to take a few steps back, through the wall of darkness, to avoid falling.   Eykit had been watching the Goblin mage, Priest Nopozu Ipiir, advance, take a flask from his belt, and toss it towards the wall of darkness. It hit the floor just in front of the wall created by the Darkness Strip, where it shattered, the oil it contained creating a puddle that stretched across the hallway. Then he started another spell, and three foot lance of flame sprung from his hand with a crackling whoosh. He advanced more quickly, cackling with glee, his pyromania set free once again!   Eykit threw a pair of daggers at Nopozu, but they missed. He was a small, quick target, and hard to hit.   The lance of fire extended to six feet long, and Eykit pulled his Darkness Strip, retreating as he quickly wadded it up. Nopozu casually waved the Flame Jet across the puddle of oil, igniting it. Heat and light spread out. Nopozu walked into the flames as if they weren’t there. His Flame Jet expanded further, to nine feet long. He waved it in Eykit’s directing, taunting him as Eykit moved as fast as he could away from the walking flamethrower.   Taid was also retreating from the flame-wielding mage, trying to give himself enough time to figure out a strategy to take the guy down.   Elitheris was pounding down the hall to try to help, but she wasn’t going to get there in time. Nopozu swung the lance of flame at Eykit, but Eykit managed to dodge under the sweep of the flame. The mage was faster. Running away wasn’t working. But if that flame hit him….   Steeling his courage, he ran towards Nopozu, grabbing his hand in an effort to keep it from being aimed at him. He struggled, trying desperately to keep that flaming arc from coming into contact with his body.   Elitheris loosed a shot as soon as she could see the Goblin mage past the opening. It slammed into the mage’s groin, giving him a major wound. His flame jet extinguished as pain erupted in his nether region and he and Eykit fell to the stone floor.   The mage’s main weapon gone, Eykit punched him in the jaw, rocking his head back and bouncing it off of the stone. Taid lunged, stabbing the spike of his halberd into the mage’s chest, killing him.   The enemies, at least the ones in their immediate area, were dead. They checked the bodies, looking for useful loot. They found some. Nopozu had another flask of oil that had hadn’t had a chance to throw, three healing potions he hadn’t had a chance to use, and a purse with some money and eight slightly luminescent quartz-like crystals in it. They ranged in size from about a half inch long to almost an inch long, and maybe three eighths of an inch wide. They weren’t big. But they were definitely recognizable.   These were Shards. The Goblin thief had seen them before, they had become known some time after the moon Jypra disintegrated, according to the stories. They were valuable, because they were magic, and had been known to impart magical abilities to those that carried them. And sometimes, those abilities were useful. Sometimes they weren’t, and sometimes the interaction of the crystals killed people. But that was rare. Besides, Eykit just knew that these crystals would bring him good fortune. He’d hold onto them for safekeeping. After all, there was no place safer than in the hands of someone who knew all about theft and stealing, right?   Elitheris took the three healing potions and went upstairs to use them on Mr. Wiggles. Hopefully, he was still there, in a more or less stable condition….   Taid kept an eye on the western end of the corridor, as the Orc with the damaged arms was still there, watching. Eykit stealthily made his way down the hall in the easterly direction, since he wanted to search the bodies that Taid and Elitheris had killed.   Well, almost killed. While Severin had died from organ failure, the other two were badly wounded and unconscious, but not quite dead. Until Eykit slit their throats. They were too dangerous to leave alive, behind them. On their bodies, Eykit found some money, a nice sword with a gold hilt and quillons (worth $500) and three more Shards off of Severin Hawthorne, a pair of Fine rondel daggers (worth $160 each, doing +1 damage) from Drenn Bakerson, and three throwing knives off of the Goblin protector.   Elitheris found Mr. Wiggles where she had left him, nestled within her cloak. She fed him all three potions, getting him healed up a bit more than halfway. He is still wounded, but at least he was able to get to his feet and move about. She came back downstairs, made a nest for him with her cloak on the sofa, and told him to “stay”. He snuggled into the cloak, licked his lips and yawned. He laid his chin on the arm on the sofa as he watched her leave the room to go into the hallway.   She hoped he would stay there. At the very least, she wanted him away from any combat. She didn’t truly expect him to stay for very long. She rejoined her companions. They were making their way down the corridor, each crouched down holding an end of the Darkness Strip, stretching it across the hallway to prevent the enemy from seeing exactly where they were. They used the minimal cover provided by the inset doors to the cells, most of which were mostly silent, although they could hear labored breathing or moans from many of them.   The drums and chanting continued. As they neared the corner, they heard one of those screams of pain that have been the constant soundtrack since they entered the temple. It went on for a minute before devolving into a choking, bubbling gurgle. Moments later, two figures, both Orcs, both very huge, started down the north/south hallway, from the northern end. One was armored in a brigandine vest and pauldrons, carrying a crossbow and spear.
The Chief Protector  
An example of brigandine armor over gambeson (much more accurate than what the minifig is wearing)   The other wore a bone mask, and was dressed in some kind of religious robes. He carried a large maul over one shoulder.
Priest Fellgog the Mad   The pair stopped about halfway down the corridor, unlocked a cell door, and the priest (one Fellgog the Mad) reached in and grabbed a prisoner by the upper arm, lifting him off of the ground and carried him back up the corridor. He and his “cargo” went around the corner, while the armored guard stood in the hallway.   The three companions came around the corner and advanced on the single, large guard. He fired his crossbow, but missed. Elitheris, however, didn’t. She hit him in the face, and he reeled back, stumbling around the corner. They could hear him howling in pain and rage. A couple of seconds later, the broken shaft of an arrow was flung into the hallway. Then, his overconfidence overwhelmed his sense of caution, and the large, armored Orc charged with a war cry, his spear aimed at Taid’s heart.   Taid dodged the attack, making an attack in return, while Elitheris readied another shot and Eykit stabbed the Orc in the leg. Or at least tried to; the Orc guard dodged the attack almost without realizing it had been an attack. He was primarily focused on the most armored of his foes, the Dwarf armed with a pole arm. Eykit stabbed at the leg again, but the armor turned the blade.   Elitheris drew the bow back for another shot, but the bowstring snapped, flinging the arms of the bow forward unexpectedly. She drew her knife, knowing she didn’t have time to restring the bow any time soon.   Figuring it would be easier to hit him if he attached himself to the foe, Eykit went in for a grapple attack on the Orc’s leg, and successfully did a lamprey impression, wrapping himself around the limb. Encumbered by an extra 150 pounds or so, the Orc found himself at a disadvantage, albeit not much of one. But it gave Eykit a better angle and a higher chance of success. He went for the groin, Eykit “Ball buster” style. Alas, it wasn’t enough to do much besides anger the Orc, who tried to knock him off by whacking him with the shaft of his spear. It didn’t dislodge the determined Goblin, who stabbed at the Orc’s leg with his knife.   Taid managed to get a good chop with the halberd on the Orc’s arm, severing it, making the Orc drop his spear and fall to the ground. Elitheris jumped onto him, shoving her knife under his chin, trying to kill the large foe. But he wasn’t completely helpless, and he turned his head, causing the blade to scrape up the side of his jaw, cutting open his face. But it was enough to stun the Orc, the myriad of attacks coming in from too many directions at once.   Taid lunged with his halberd, striking past both Eykit and Elitheris, driving the top spike into the Orc’s face, killing him.   When they loot his bloody body, they find that he had a rondel dagger with a gold plated hilt and an emerald on the pommel. Elitheris takes that, needing a good fighting dagger. Taid strips off his brigandine vest, and while it will need to be adjusted for size, it will work well enough for now. It will at least be better than his chain shirt, which had that fist-sized hole eaten into it by that reek in the jungle.   They have yet to look around the corner, into the loud, large, well-lit room, where, presumably, all the action is happening.

Rewards Granted

3 CP, 1 for Mr. Wiggles (who sat this one out, but did manage to be a spur for a bit of roleplaying, and he got to experience the effects of several sub-standard healing potions)
Brigandine torso armor, some nice daggers, a nice arming sword, and a couple of hooked spears, if they want them
Some Shards
Some money

Character(s) interacted with

A Goblin Protector (guard)
Drenn Bakerson, a priest
Severin Hawthorne, a priest
The Chief Protector, a large Orc warrior
Fellgog the Mad, a priest
A poor, hapless prisoner, whom they freed. Maybe he might survive the three to four day trek back to Civilization. But probably not.
Report Date
30 Jan 2022
Primary Location
Secondary Location
This session was mostly combat. The next session will likely be the same, as they are getting to the meat of it all.   I had not been doing the combats as well as I could have; I had forgotten some of the more esoteric effects of wounding. This time, we added in Knockdown and Stunning, and the effects of Major Wounds. In addition, I remembered that I am playing with people who aren't really familiar with the system yet, so I had to make sure I reminded them of their tactical combat options. So this time there was more variation in attack types, including several instances of Aiming, Evaluating, Grappling, and All-Out Attacks.   They have figured out that the cultists (and they know they are cultists, complete with sacrifices and that incessant drumming and chanting) have something that they are doing that they think is more important than killing the intruders into their temple.

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