Wednesday, August 14, 2013

K11 - The obsidian tower

Phew, is has been a month since the last session of Reclaiming Khazad-dum. We left our dwarven heroes in the midst of a magic attack on top commanders of the dwarf vanguard.

Diary from a Murik "tumbletorque", war drummer of the Ice Lot

An air of confusion and excitement had overtaken the camp. The rants of the sergeant major were overridden by the Attack-Lord's own monologue. People were digging holes and filing them back in. A bad scene.The victory to take the bridge had been followed by another to the north and vast amount of ale had been seized. The word on the lines was that the ale would be kept as personal loot by the brass. This rumor didn't please the dwarves. Our commander, Kalin "Stronghold", a noble from Aglarond had entertained us all in the afternoon with his antics. As the night fell and the orcs became restless, the commanders were all of a sudden nowhere to be found.

Very late into the night, three rangers arrived with three orc emissaries. The tallest wanted to negotiate. I gather that things didn't go well and the first thing that I've heard was that a magic blast sent all in the command post to the ground. Only the Attack-Lord walked away and told us that powerful magic had been twarted. I helped Kalin Stronhold back to his feet: he was apparently sleeping and so were everyone else there. The rangers scurried around in the dark. Many of us were ordered to do the same and waste valuable sleeping time shuffling in the underbrush. Drolf set everyone straight, we caught some sleep and had breakfast. No orcs came to Browek that night.

Recollection of Donarik, ranger of the Ark.

The scene was a mix of ridiculous and tragic as the idiots wasted the night fretting about in the dark. There is no way that the orcs would go through the Ark Herd and get through without a lot of noise! I wanted to get back North, but Khazek-boy was busy acting big and making us run around the camp. I found a partridge lurking, but no orcs. The others were all lusting over the ale from the depot: I wanted to tell them that orc mooshine was not fit for dwarven consumption, but who am I to burst their bubble?

Just before sunset, the elves, our favorite invisible "allies", called Khazek-boy with their inane bird calls. We scurried into the woods and walked into another of their theatrical ambushes. Elves sure enjoy the same joke over and over. The leader of the hunters told us about a path leading to the Obsidian tower that bypassed all of the orcs. They talked of a presence in the wood, like an eye in the forest, which was following the action from the tower and causing mischief. I bet that this jerk is an elf himself.

It was decided that Drolf, our fearless if not rather wordy leader, would lead a secret expedition to the tower. We set out at sunrise with the rangers, a noble called Kalin and Drolf's Sargent-major Vadek. Walking the 15 clicks to the Moutains felt like a crawl with these nobles in tow. Khazek did a good job at keeping them tactically sound. We crept up the foothills and out of the thick forest into a woodland area. We could see the valley below, hear orcs down by the river. To the North, the mountains of Mirkwood rose to the sky.  Where the Browek river screams out of the mountains, a black tower could be seen.

The woodland got sparse as we climbed more. We could see small groups of orcs walking along a path across the raging river to our right. Staying hidden was tricky at times, but Khazek got us through alright.

The tower was a 70 yd tall spire of obsidian that sprung in the middle of a waterfall where two rivers merged. The rest of the crew started to discuss about getting to the portal. That was a weird thing since I couldn't see this portal event though "it was right there". They all looked at me funny as if I was wasting their time. A pair of orcs exited the tower and walked away to a nearby camp. Khazek found a sketchy ford at the top of the waterfall and ushered us all in. The tower was even more imposing from up close. It looked like there was a terrace near the top where a dead tree had once grown. We looked for a secret entrance at the back, but didn't find anything. This is when we decided to climb down to the front of the tower along the waterfall. Khazek looked for a safe path through the glass, but instead tumbled down into the water. Actually, we all kind of embarrassed ourselves then, I'd rather not talk about it.

We crept, dripping wet, along the base of the tower until we got to the portal. The door was 3yd wide and about 5 yd tall. There were no knobs on this giant piece of steel-braced obsidian elf-craft crap. I hated it already. Luckily, the door soon opened to let two more orcs out: The tall was dragging the short one by its hair. It was comical.

Entrance of Sarn Goriwig. A natural air pocket in a giant
volcanic glass icicle.
We hurried inside the tower while the orcs walked away. The hall beyond was a large and narrow room with a high vaulted ceiling. The floor was finely crafted, as well as dwarves could make! In the middle of the room was a lidless eye made of gemstones. A larger hall could be seen beyond this room. Two archway framed large pieces of obsidian looking like doors.

Drolf didn't hesitate and made his way in towards the gemstone symbol. A shockwave shook us up. Kalin, Gimvar and Vadek took to their feet, probably thinking that the hall was about to collapse in itself. I weathered the urge to flee and stood fast. Things we going from weird to worst: what looked like doors on either sides started to "melt" away.  Through the glass, two really big trolls were waking up.

Drolf smashed on the symbol on the ground while Khazek and I tried to lodge arrows in he troll to the right. Both made sparks as they hit the wall: the howls of trolls rose into the room like a drum roll. The pitter-patter of fleeing feet fading away in my rear.

... and then our time was up for the session!  


  1. I really like how you told this story from the point of view of two of the minor Dwarves. Sounds like Khazek-boy needs to have a talk with Donarik though...

    1. I tried to keep the spirit of Alexis Donarik in this post. Glad that you like it, Khazek-boy!

  2. also, the hand-drawn art is GREAT! I love both images! Keep up the good work!

  3. Whohoo! can't wait for the next game.