Tales of Alentha

The Mortar of Civilization

Characters: Avria, Gronja, Indus Ederix, Konang, Vondulyth
Game Date: 16/11/14

Plot Overview:

  • Konang finds himself facing off against the very worse kind of person – a slaver – and he’s in no mood to be merciful. The half-orc fighter scythes through the orcs in front of him with his greatsword until the balance of his party show up in force to lend a hand. Avria summons a spiritual hammer which duals against a spiritual spear cast by an orc shaman.
  • The heroes cut the slavers down to a man, until Indus, ever the voice of reason, slumbers one with a Sleep spell to interrogate for information. The orc eventually comes to see Indus as a trusted friend, albeit with the help of a Charm spell. Indus pretends to be a slaver owner and treats Avria like one of his purchases, causing the slaver to become much more loquacious about his merchandise.
  • Indus apologies to Avria for making her a prop of his story, but was able to find out where several halflings and gnomes are currently being confined. Rather than leaving their prisoner with the local gnome militia, Vondulyth summarily decides (after a brief interview with the captain) that the orc should be tied up in the battle wagon instead.
  • Konang offers to restrain their prisoner for safekeeping, but Avria senses his murderous intent and accompanies the half-orc to make sure their captive is manacled alive. Aster, one of Vondulyth’s disciplines, brains the orc unconscious with a pan as a compromise, satisfying everybody’s need to balance the scales.
  • The heroes climb aboard the boat that brought the orc slavers to Mireton and row up river to an abandoned tower overgrown with moss. The top of the tower has long since crumbled and the surrounding area is similarly wild, providing enough natural cover for the heroes to approach the structure unnoticed. Avria and Vondulyth, who can’t keep quiet to save their lives, are thoroughly handheld by the stealthier members of their party.
  • The party find themselves beneath an orc archer patrolling a catwalk above them, at which point Avria suggests that the stealthier party members should scout for an entrance, while she and Vondulyth remain behind to avoid making noise. Gronja, Indus, and Konang sneak ahead and find a door, at which point Adonhim, the raven familiar, signals the cleric and paladin to follow.
  • Vondulyth immediately scrapes his metal greaves against the tower wall and alerts the orc archer above. The guard sinks an inky black arrow into the paladin, who is immediately weakened by poison. Avria casts Sacred Flame at the shooter and the pair hasten to rejoin their comrades. Indus finishes lock-picking the door and stands aside for Gronja to burst inside.
  • The interior tower has been reinforced with a wooden infrastructure and stairs.
    Several orcs immediately charge at the party members from two sets of doors and down a flight of stairs. Vondulyth divinely purges the poison from his wound and then moves to protect any nearby companions. Gronja and Konang engage the enemy as Avria summons her sacred hammer again. Indus knocks over a brassier and seeks cover behind the burning coals after being struck by a greataxe.
  • The heroes dispatch their initial orc resistance, but have no illusions that the fight is far from over. Konang opens one of the doors from which the orcs came rushing out and finds four cells filled with gnomes and halflings. He immediately picks one of the locks and sets them free, but none of the captured slaves are moving, too terrified despite being liberated by a seven-foot tall half-orc saviour.
  • Vondulyth smashes open a second lock, while Kongang deftly picks two locks simultaneously with a truly inspired manipulation of his thieves’ tools. Suddenly the double doors of the previous room swing open, through which orc reinforcements arrive. They run directly into the room of captured slaves and threaten to kill the prisoners if the heroes don’t back down.
  • One of the orcs yells at Gronja in Orcish. “Your human stink is worse than a rotting corpse!” Avria translates for the barbarian. “He thinks you’re cute!” The paladin ensnares the orc with thorny vines, but the slaver manages to escape largely unscathed. He grabs a halfling prisoner in desperation and holds a knife to his throat.
  • The party swarm the cowardly slaver, descending on him with axe, bow, and blade, until he falls lifeless to the ground and releases the halfling largely unharmed. Gronja attempts to open the adjoining locked door with her boot key, but hurts her foot instead. Indus steps away from a statue of Gruumsh long enough to pick the door as an afterthought.
  • Avria explores the room, finding an assortment of blood-stained weapons, along with gnome and halfling bodies left to rot. There’s a dwarven corpse among the bodies as well, still holding a well-crafted warhammer. Avria takes the hammer from her fallen brother before turning around to spot two unopened chests. Indus uses the momentary calm to share senses with his raven familiar and flies into the next room through the open double doors.
  • The arcane trickster spies a dinner table set with haunches of gnomes and halflings, beyond which there are four massive orcs ready for battle. Two of them are holding a gnome and halfling hostage, but otherwise waiting for the heroes to arrive. One of the captives looks like the gnome girl who most recently disappeared from Mireton. Vondulyth suggests a plan whereby they all rush in at once and grapple the orcs simultaneously, thereby protecting the hostages.
  • The plan goes awry when the orc chieftain opens the throat of the female gnome. Gronja is tapped out from a day of raging, but now she is filled with a different kind of anger. Her blood doesn’t boil so much as run cold. She focuses on the chieftain to the exclusion of all other opponents and attacks him with a single-minded calm that is out of character for the barbarian.
  • Avria wades into battle and unleashes a devastating Thunderwave against the remaining orcs. Konang cannot escape the blast but gives his dwarven companion the nod. She should unleash her wrath anyway. Avria tries desperately to shape him out of the spell, but the half-orc takes the full brunt of her righteous fury, along with the two orcs beside him. Konang is bloodied, but happy.
  • A powerful blow against the half-orc threatens to take him down a moment later. He grits his teeth and remains standing. A secondary attack, however, drops him to the ground. Avria heals Konang back onto his feet. Vondulyth summons ancient roots from beneath the tower to ensnare the orc chieftain. It restrains the commander from attacking, but he still manages to inspire his men with an orc battlecry.
  • The paladin is the next to fall, but again Avria calls her companion back to life. Gronja continues to steadily chop away at the chieftain, unrelenting in her attacks. When two more orc guards are toppled, the fourth flees for his life. Konang tries to stop him, but misses with his greatsword. The chieftain curses his disloyal underling as he falls beneath one final swing of Gronja’s axe.
  • The barbarian yells at the orc chieftain as he dies (in what she believes is Orcish), saying “May Gruumsh curse your unworthy soul to the Elvish afterlife for all time!” Avria and Konang both look at each other in surprise. What Gronja actually said was “May Gruumsh bless your soul to always protect this sacred tower!” Avria instantly realizes that Gronja muddled the words, however spectacularly, and convinces Konang to keep the secret from their well-meaning companion.
  • Vondulyth chases after the fleeing orc upstairs, only to find a sloping line that he must have repelled down to escape, disappearing into the overgrown forest beyond. Konang picks the chests Avria spotted earlier and not only finds gems and gold inside, but a list of slaver clients. Indus locates a bounty of miscellaneous treasure as well. Avria senses that the hammer she found is actually magical.
  • Gronja respectfully wraps the gnome girl’s body, which glows in response to her reverential treatment. She plans to deliver the body back to her father who so blithely allowed his daughter to court a known danger near their house. Finally, the paladin looks out towards the Southwest from high a top the tower, the diametric opposite direction in which he and Gronja travelled in the battle wagon, and spots a mountain that he’s certain was never there before.

Memorable lines:

  • Avria translating an orc curse to Gronja:
    “He thinks you’re cute!”

Vondulyth responding to a gnome who simply confirms that he’s the local militia captain:
“Thank you. You’ve told me everything I need to know.”

Unanswered Questions:

Comments

The_GM_Tim Sonofapreacherman

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