Monday, 27 February 2012

Orc allies and a reckoning with the manticores

'Stop this madness!' - Milgos channeling his inner drow


Urgosh and friends
Milgos spent time recharging his newly acquired wand of magic missiles. Its discovery had him reconsider his prior tactic of leaping into the middle of combat swinging his daggers. Yet the visceral thrill of carving up his opposition was irresistible to the dark elf and he soon found himself purchasing a fine set of matching short swords. He trawled the markets of the city hunting for bargains and found a downtrodden peasant called Berk who’d serve as torchbearer (and who would be completely forgotten by all in the coming conflicts) and a scroll of armour, a spell that was sure to increase his life expectancy. Ugh on the other hand purchased as many flasks of oil as seemed practical for he recalled the tale of ooze that guarded a secret treasure.


Feeling confident the group returned to the dungeon and found their way back to the chamber from which they had left off. The kobolds, whom they had rescued last delve, were lounging about their chamber feasting on the dried remains of dire rat and oblivious to the parties presence. Ugh marched and kicked the chair out from under on of the poor creatures. Howling in dismay from the dungeon floor the kobold looked up at the armoured half orc that towered overhead. Ugh sought information about the surrounds and learnt that the orcish leader in a nearby chamber was a brute who liked challenges. “Perhaps,” the kobold suggested “you could challenge the brute for leadership of the orcs.” Finding the idea plausible, Ugh accentuated his orc heritage as best he could with the assistance of the kobolds. He bloodied his weapon, draped himself in rancid rat furs and plaited bones into his hair. This ruse would later fail, let down by the half orc’s cultured demeanour and even temperament. Still as the group left the kobolds, Ugh practised his mean skills; insulting the creatures by deliberately mistaking them for gnomes. Gnomes are of course a kobolds arch nemesis. The kobolds were left fuming and conflicted; the heroes had saved them but were also mean.


The mean heroes considered their immediate options. To the north purportedly lay the secret treasure guarded by ooze. A sizzling sound from that direction lent credence to the kobolds intelligence. Behind the door to the west lay the orcs. Milgos placed an ear to the door and made out a low muttering from beyond. Perhaps it was orcish, he couldn’t be sure despite being a fluent speaker of the language. There they stood undecided for some time before Milgos did what he often does and that’s make a rash decision. He opened the door and crept into the chamber sneaking about he determined that the orcs sat at a table concealed by a curtain. Their chest lay in the room unobserved and undefended. Tempting a target though it may be Milgos returned to inform his companions.

The party planned an ambush which was let down by the braying of Fang, Ugh’s hyena. The orcs wrenched aside the curtain, took in the situation and flipped the table grabbing their spears and shields and formed a defensive formation. “Come get us cowards!” screamed Urgosh the largest of the orcs and their nominal leader.


Heated words were exchanged between Ugh and Urgosh till the full blooded orc could stand no more. The creature strode out from behind the shield wall of it's companions ready to duel the half blood till both combatants were stunned into inaction. "STOP THIS MADNESS!" shouted Milgos the dark elf stepping out from the cover from which he had been watching. The dark elf turned to the orc. "Do you know whom I represent? You know my people, you know our ways. You do not want to anger me." The orc gulped and looked about nervously. "Do not waste blood duelling my slave." Milgos gestured to Ugh. "We have bigger enemies to defeat. Follow me and bring you men. We hunt a pair of manticores. You shall share in the spoils." The orc needed little convincing, seemingly cowed by Milgos' impressive act. Urgosh gathered his orcs and the whole band set off.


Returning to the swampland above the group the group found the entrance to the troglodyte caverns. From there they rushed the manticores who were caught unawares, lounging as they were after a big meal near their underground lake. The orcs took advantage of their spears reach skewering the brutes while Milgos battered the creatures with magic missiles and Ugh weighed in with his blade. The brutes managed a few inept volleys of tail spikes, that felled a pair of orcs, before being decapitated by a rampaging Ugh. The orcs were given a number of golden cups from the treasure pile. They celebrated by filling them from the manticores underground lake. Miraculously their wounds healed. The orcs believed they had magic cups. Milgos, aided by the magic of his staff of the apprentice, new the truth; the pool was enchanted with healing magic.


Milgos harnessed his orcish allies high spirits by turning them towards clearing out some nearby mounted troglodyte guards. Again the companions revisited a chamber they had explored before. They planned a pincer like strike on the troglodytes but lost the initiative. Their reptilian foe let out a loud screech as they goaded their huge iguana mounts towards the band. The terrifying noise saw Fang and the orcs flee in terror. Fang couldn't escape however as Ugh held the hyena's chain tightly in his shield hand. Milgos muttered an arcane chant and the troglodytes fell asleep in their saddles. During the melee Ugh was wrapped up by one of the lizards tongues from which he struggled to escape. Jana, fearing for the half orcs life, leapt into the conflict with her mace but was promptly snatched up by another giant lizard who threatened to tear her asunder. Betty and Beautrice carried the day as they put the lizards to the sword. Upon surveying the scene Milgos was left cursing. He had lost his orc allies and these blasted troglodytes didn't even have the courtesy to carry their treasure with them.


The battle resolved the group retreated in good order. Back in town they planned their next move.


Troglodyte Warrens

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