Saturday, April 27, 2013

031 - Piling up orcs at the gates of Mandos

After deciding to come back to Annuminas to mine the Royal Library once more, the Palantir Commission decided to do a proper reconnaissance of the ruined city.

Mandos, out of time

The place is Mandos, or rather it should be. It is dark in here: the hall is large and majestic. Wrug and Jugag are looking at each other, flabergasted.

"What just happened here?", asked Wrug. Jugag shaked his shoulder. "It began when Buomug rang the alert, I think..."

It indeed began like this. Buomug was standing on a ladder, overlooking Annuminas when he spotted a number of figures on foot along the banks of Lake Evendim. Vabugbu, then in charge of the camp, called all to their weapons. "I bet that these are the troll slayers", Vabugbu exclaimed. The orcs in the camp began to fret, cursed and ran around in circles. The strangers in the distance were standing there, barely in sight at about 300 meters. Vabugbu hatched a plan to intimidate them by giving them the impression that the camp had a lot more defenders than it had. They began chanting and making war cries. They soon started to feel silly, but Vabugbu was adamant that the ruse had to work. They rattled their spears against the palisade, peeking in between its lumber in an attempt to find out if the their subterfuge was working. It looked like it worked for a few minutes: the strangers were no longer in sight.

Out of the darkness, Ougigoth advanced and continued the story. "Then, this stupid hobbit started to gesticulate to the South-West. Anyone remembers?". The others nodded. "I remember Vabugbu round up four others to hunt down the twerp. I think that Vabugbu called the hobbit 'supper' as he left the enclave." Meat on the menu! Smeguh and Mudagog headed to the North wall when popped in front of them two men armored in chainmails and great helms. Both very young, one of them on the pudgy side.

"Then all went black for me. T'was like a tingle... then nothing", said Mudagog that had been listening from a distance. Ougigoth shook his head: "I thought that you decided to play dead, stupid grunt!". Our sergeant  Smeguh braced for impact when the knight charged. Smeguh's spear was pushed aside by the knight's shield. "The first thing that I knew, Smeguh was flying backward into the snow with a deep gash in his leg. The squire then charged at me, broke my arm with his longsword. By the time that the squire had me skewered through the stomach, the knight with a swan helm was finishing off Smeguh".

"Yeah... that's how it happened, and it sucked.", added Smeguh. "The squire finished you off too, Mudagog, while you were sleeping like a baby."

The orcs present looked at their feet, dejected.

Wrug and Jugag were still scratching their heads. "We arrived here first. What on earth happened to us?"
Raghat, who was the archer under Jugag stepped from the shadow to fill in the story. He recalled first some arrows flying and hitting Knagud, and a tall man in chainmail charging at the squad to his right. Then, out of nowhere, an elderly dwarf wearing spectacles leaped from behind the barrack, and in a heroic charge and rapid strike managed to take in a single sweep of his warhammer both Wrug's throat and Jugag's skull. Raghat tried to avenge his friends with a point blank shot on the dwarf, but the plate on his leg deflected the arrow with a spark. Raghat then remembered the dwarf, a mad look in his eyes, pulling his hammer from Jugag's skull. From behind, a knight with a swan wings helm was charging. Raghat drew his sword but never managed a blow before the dwarf dispatched him to Mandos.

"Yeah, that arrow was for me alright...", added Knagud. "I hate hobbits." Knagud was the archer for his squad. Rhaged and Ruthag charged to meet a tall man in a chainmail. I saw two orcs fly in the air to my right when an arrow lodged itself into my torso. A hobbit lass shot the arrow from atop a pile of lumber. She was too far, so I shot back but at the soldier instead. His shield got in the way. The man was caughing and wheezing, but kept on charging. Ruthag got struck in the leg, flew a yard backward and landed in the snow, unconscious. Rhaged gave him a run for his money, or at least tried but never made it pass the hero's shield. By the time that Rhaged was struck down, Knagud had turned around and was running for the cover of the south palisade. He dropped his bow, and as he attempted to draw his sword, an arrow pierced his right arm and severed an artery. Knagud's arm went limp but onward he carried. "I hate hobbits.", exclaimed Knagud. Another arrow hit him in the left arm and shattered his elbow. Knagud was leaving behind a trail of red body fluid in the snow as he escaped the hobbit-lass' flurry of arrows [Irina rolled two natural 3 criticals in a row, a 1/40000 event].

"I was running along the south wall, and towards the river when I saw... another stupid hobbit. I hate hobbits.", Knagud was dumbfounded. The hobbit halted, meticulously put away his blowpipe, drew his sword and charged at Knagud. Knagud, an arrow in his chest and both arms crippled had run out of options. The hobbit-lad struck him in the leg, severing another major artery (really?). Knagud, now bleeding from both ends, stood in front of the hobbit-lad, struggling to remain conscious. The hobbit attempted to strike again but failed. One of the hobbit-lass' arrow finally struck Knagud's leg and threw him over the edge.

"My last memory of Arda is a sharp pain in my leg and a hobbit, covered in my own blood, striking me in the neck. I really hate hobbits.", the place remained silent. "There are better ways to go, certainly.", added Ougigoth sympathetically.

"I saw you fall, Knagud", said Vabugbu, "It wasn't pretty".

"I saw you go, Vabugbu, and it was worst if that's possible.", exclaimed Sinsbog. Before the bloodshed began, Vabugbu took the five of us along the south wall and across the river to find that gesticulating hobbit. We could follow his footsteps in the snow. Unfortunately, the little pest had hidden atop a wall and shot Vabugbu with a poison dart. Vabugbu was in terrible pain, but we kept on looking for the hobbit. When we found his track back in the snow, it led back to the enclave.

When we arrived to the river, Knagud was bleeding all over the hobbit. Before he was even lying down, the hobbit-lad was on the run under the cover of arrows raining from another hobbit some 60 yards away. One arrow was dodged by Vabugbu, grazed Buomug behind and lodged itself in Fubguh's abdomen. "Fubguh never saw that arrow coming".  The five orcs charged onward to realize that they were met by a single, elderly dwarf. What the orcs thought would be an overrun played out quite differently.

"The dwarf braced his hammer and rammed into Vabugbu. Our leader got impaled by the blunt end of the weapon as the dwarf kept on going, and rammed into poor Fubguh.  Fubguh was already reeling from his arrow wound.", said Sinsbog. The dwarf hit Fubguh so hard that he flew some 9 feet backward, lifeless. Buomug, Sinsbog and Xomath the archer then jumped on the dwarf but couldn't penetrate his armor.

"It got weird then, I think.", added Buomug. "I got hit once or twice by arrows and one of these poison darts. I could hear a man wheezing behind me, but when I managed to turn around it was too late: his broadsword went through my pelvis and I was thrown backward."

"Ah... this is what happened", added Sinsbog. "Buomug got knocked-back at my feet, I tripped on his lifeless body and my spear flew up in the air [He got a critical fail on his dodge against Halin]. This spear was right at my feet, and as I tried to pick it up, the chainmail soldier hit me in the groin! "

All orcs in the hall owled in dissaproval. What kind of sick RPG let this happen to a fine orc like Sinsbog? "Did he target this shot?", asked a few. "No, I think that it just came out of the random hit location table.", answered Sinsbog.

"I'd rather be a red-box goblin", stated Knagud.

An awkward silence filled the afterlife's hall for a minute.

"Anyone know what happened to Xomath? He is not here with us..."

November 18th FA 15

Arnadil had rushed after Halin against the last five orcs. The exchange looked more like a bowling strike as Halin smashed into the charge and then got rushed by the remaining orcs. By the time that the last two spear-wielding orcs were slain, Halin had pulled his hammer from Vabugbu's chest and was about to go after the orc archer. The last standing orc considered to aim at the dwarf's face: his only exposed body part, but rather hit in his steel breastplate. He then dropped his bow and surrendered: "I won't hurt you, stop!".

Arnadil asked the archer how many more orcs there was around. The archer begged for mercy, answered that there were over 50 orcs, plus trolls, plus Northmen. Arnadil asked him what they were doing in Annuminas. The orc replied that the master would be pissed when he'd learn about this: that there were building a stronghold, a home. The archer was so upset that he began vomiting. Arnadil lost his patience and started punching the orc to quiet him. Sir Galdor joined in to subdue the orc. Soon, he was lying down, unconscious. He was bleeding profusely from an arrow wound. Irina proposed to tend his wound as he could provide more information later on.

"Treat this filth", ordered Arnadil. Irina treated the orc's wound that she create herself half a minute earlier. Way to boost your First-aid skill, hobbit-lass!

By then, Session 9 had run over by 1 hour already. Time to fold until the next one!

GMing notes: This combat pretty much went the way I wanted it to go, using my brand new cinematic orcs. I think that the orcs will need to be buffed a little, but they are meant to require a larger numerical advantage before they become a credible threat. Listening to the recording to the session to make better notes, about half of it are busts of laughter and giggles: good enough.


  1. Sorry about the laughing. It was a great session. And the perspective of the orc threw me for a second I thought it was a posting to some other blog you must be doing. It was a good read man.

    1. This was the good kind of laughters! I feel sorry for these little guys.

  2. OMG...Once I realized this post was from the Orc afterlife, I laughed out loud.

    It was like reading a Keystone Cops story.

    I loved it.

  3. And as an important note. The orcs would not be aware of this, but it was only the second time Finbert had ever drawn his sword and the first time he had ever swung it in anger. And he killed an orc with it! Many thanks to Irina.


    1. Convincing Irina to enter the fray is next. Although frankly she is worth her weight with a bow on hand...

    2. Absolutely! Fin didn't really have an option. He knew there were 5 orcs behind him and only 3 were accounted for. Better the bloodied one in front then the 5 behind.

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