Tuesday, November 26, 2013

K19 - Under new management

It's all about location

Gror lead the assault on the huorn which lasted a mere fifty minutes. The tree fell to its doom from the top of the tower, freeing the path to the terrace where a contraption was mounted on a bronze brace. Lathmelen, the resident elf geek, didn't know anything about the artifact. Gesdrek was eventually pulled away from a book to examine the piece. It was a looking glass capable to terrorize whoever entered its sight. Unfortunately, the operation of the device remained a mystery and its effect a matter of conjecture. 

Goldo reported to Bain that Thalladan's library was a treasure trove of knowledge on dark arts and the underdeep. Most interestingly, Goldo identified a number of papers pointing to an agreement between Thalladan, the green wizard, and a party refered to as the infernals. The contract stated that Sarn Goriwig was to produce 150 orcs per years. The payment was to be made in exotic material, and take place once per calendar year.

Prince Imeptanen was eager to get the dwarves out of Sarn Goriwig. The dwarves delayed as much as they could. Many of them wanted to get back to the lower levels and explore the way beyond the door. The prince was adamant that this would not be possible. Bain managed to sidetrack the prince sufficiently to drag on the negotiation while he was grasping at straws. He saw an opportunity for Gror to shine and asked him to expose the role of the obsidian tower in the wider dwarven strategy. Unfortunately, the prince didn't seem to care at all for the business of the dwarves. Khazek attempted to throw the prince off with his trademark familiarity, but the attempt fell flat. The prince was visibly annoyed and wanted the intruders out of his property. 

Thordar pulled enough well turned sentences from his beard to distract the prince from his predicament. The prince was intrigued, maybe amused by the antics of the dwarf. The prince opened for further negotiations. Bain explained that Erebor was considering using the underdeep as a backdoor to Khazad-dum. This could get the dwarves out of Mirkwood earlier than planned. The prince liked that. After a few more minutes of negociations, the prince agreed to grant Sarn Goriwig for 10 years under two conditions: The first one was that the dwarves would prevent wickedness from deep underground to enter Mirkwood. The second term was that dwarves couldn't enter the orcs' nest until King Thrandhuil had presided over its purification. The deal was to be revisited in 10 years. 

Bain ordered the Bronze attack under Sundtak Orcslayer to take over the guard of the tower. Two herds were assigned to the task. The rest of the unit returned to Browek Bridge to await departure for Khazad-dum. Some hoped to go through Mirkwood such as Farin II, and others begged to go underground such as the commander of the Mithril-Attack, Kiro Rockdigger.

The thespian viceroy

Time flew by as the sun began to shine again on Mirkwood. Farin II, again, began to show disinterest for the whole of the expedition and spent all of his time training Battlegroup West. Thordar went by the command post a week later in search of new agents near Farin. His luck was thin, but he brought back a message from Farin to the viceroy requesting the permission to resume the overland walk. 

Bain obliged and returned to the CP of Battlegroup West. He found a pumped-up Farin who peeled himself from field exercises to meet the viceroy. Bain figured out that if he stroked his ego a little bit, he'd be able to get a clear idea of Farin's motivations (Psychology check). With this in mind, Bain played stupid (Acting check) and convinced Farin that he was really coming to see him to get a lesson in strategy. Farin, boasted his preparedness, and contempt for the troops on Battlegroup East. He exposed to Bain how he planned to take on the watcher in the water by the West gate. The lack of thought about the Eastern approach became evident. Gror suggested that taking on the beast may be a good way to come back to Erebor on a shield, but Farin dismissed the thought as weak. Bain estimated that Farin was probably capable to carry on his glamorous mission, decided that it was time for Gror to take over command, and ordered BG-West to march again. A date was set to begin the assault.

A day later, nothing was left of Battlegroup-West but a few kilometers of despoiled roadside encampments. Gror smiled and turned around to look upon the bustle of Battlegroup-East. Thordar, too was happy as the last of Farin's troop disappeared into the thick of Mirkwood. 

The sound of two shadows when they clash

Thordar had this itch in his hand. An itch that doesn't go away and comes to him when someone must die. He hoped for an orc raid, something fast and violent in which he could release the energy that he kept bottled in for weeks. A way to cast a net into destiny for him was to stroll around the HQ of Battlegroup-West. There was this Eastern dwarf there, Jaheev, which he suspected was responsible for the disappearance of Emerek: his agent in the Gold-Attack.

Thordar wandered around the unit, but didn't find much of a lead for his next agent. He had been drawing blanks for over two weeks and was wondering if he was losing his mojo. This is when he ran into one of the cooks working for the Attack-Lord himself. The guy's name was Kirel "Fanghook": an homely dwarf who feared him enough to pay attention. Thordar chatted a bit with Kirel and figured out that he was amenable to report to him on mundane matters. Kirel wasn't going to be the spymater that he was looking for, but at least he thought that he could count on him for simple stuff.

This is about that time that Farin III himself found Thordar and asked him to pass along the request to resume the march. Thordar scanned for Jaheev, who was nearby and observing him. He smiled, and returned to the viceroy with in his pocket a good excuse to come back with a distraction.

Thordar decided to take advantage of Bain's visit to confront Jaheev. If anything, this would prevent the Easterner from interfering with Bain's engagement. Thordar asked about Emerek, but Jaheev was dismissive. Feeling that this had something to do with his manliness, Thordar explained in no ambiguous terms that whatever happened to Emerk was better never again to happen to any other friends of his. Jaheev didn't need to be an empath to figure out that Thordar was glancing disturbingly at his throat. Jaheev made a veiled admission that he at least knew what had become of Emerk. He then promised to ensure that such dissapearance wouldn't happen again.

Jaheev was elated to hear that Battlegroup-West was leaving at first light. Most importantly, leaving behind Thordar and the disturbing twinkle in his eye.

The long way down

Khazek was a bit unimpressed when he learned that King Thrandhuil had been in Sarn Goriwig for the last few days without him noticing. Thordar also felt a little dejected to be the last to know about it. The King had gone and Prince Imeptanen came to Browek Bridge to inform the viceroy that the dwarven from then on had the duty to keep Mirkwood safe from the dark creatures of the underdeep.

The company comprised among many the viceroy, Bain, and his butler Thordar. The viceroy's son Gror was to lead a guard of axmen (7 of them) while Khazek, a royal family favourite was to take Gimvar and a guard of rangers to the depths. Also included were Gesdrek the Loremaster, Lathmelen the niece of the elf Queen Ildamadhui, Tov the holy dwarf and Goldo, and old friend of the viceroy and resident architect.  All 22 dwarves packed enough supplies to last a week, and headed deep under the mountains of Mirkwood.

The orc's nest was now a crypt for the tortured souls of 5 elves. Right of way to the Mirkwood elves was granted as the place was considered to be sacred to them. The company opened the gate and tip-toed through the rubble beyond.  Khazek identified a number of old tracks of orcs walking in files, and the strange footsteps of bipedal canine creatures, probably carrying whips. They proceeded down in a ricketty set of stairs going down a hastily dug shaft for 200 yds. They then reached a staging camp. There was more tracks there, and evidence of violence in the dust. The descent resumed for another 500 yds of vertical drop. At the foot of the shaft, there was the body of two orcs that didn't came down the slow way, and a squeeze leading into a large underground hall thundering with the noise of a waterfall.

The rangers proceeded to the Eastern end of the hall and waded into the river rushing down into the chasm below. They found the desiccated body of one of these dog-like creatures pushed aside along the wall. The river gushed into the hall through a carved portal of unknown origin. There was about 2 ft of water and a strong current. The water itself was not as cold as the rest of the hall. Khazek peered into the dark tunnel and turned around. The rest of the company was gravitating around the western end of the hall.

That end, unsusually, was walled in. Again, the construction was no more than 10 years old according to Goldo, and no one knew who would have been using this style. There was a steel door at it centre. Clearly, the concern appeared more to keep things from coming in than going out as the door was locked using a large steel bar hung on their side. They lifted the bar and opened the door. Tov's drumming was silenced, only one torch was left alight. 

Beyond the wall

Beyond the wall, the hall kept on heading west. The air was thin, but breathable enough to hike through for a few hours. The silence was deafening once that the roar of the fall were left behind. The door shrank as they proceeded forward.

The ceiling was low and uneven. Often, they needed to crouch to squeeze through to higher vaults in the tunnel. A small brook, mostly frozen, was trickling to the west. They hiked for some 300 yds in difficult terrain and tight squeezes until the rangers motioned to keep still. Something was stirring ahead. Goldo moved forward in hope to shed light. Only some faint motion could be perceived. Khazek swiftly ordered the rangers to spread out. At the edge of the light, they kneeled in a squeeze and readied their bows. Time stood still.

The ambush sprang on them as a countless ghoulish creatures tore from the dark towards their positions. It was dark, the little breathable air was filled with the steam from their breath and the echoes of dozens of screeching roars.

Beyond the wall, in a glance.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Khareo's Tale #7 - Fairies and lizards

Shadows in the night

Karim, self-portrait.
Karim was shuffling in the dark on his way back from a day's work. He knew that something was wrong, but couldn't explain why until he heard the muffled steps of feet on the pavement. He slipped behind a pile of refuse and let the shape of two hooded men walk away. Something was indeed wrong: He could smell danger. 

They came back a few minutes later as he resumed his walk. This time, there was no way to hide: the hooded men came from ahead and from behind. Karim climbed up a waterspout and reached the roof of a building. Four hooded men arrived and saw him slip away. Karim was scared. He peered down to try to find out who his pursuer were. 

Leila was a tree fairy. She had little to worry about for as long as her plum tree remained a secret. That night, she was fluttering over the sleeping city when she spotted a panting boy on the roof of a house. Below, there was a number of agitated hooded men. 

Curisosity got the best of her as she flew down to see what was going on. She could see three men. She flicked her fingers an lit the nose of one of them with a bright light. The light revealed the face of a lizard. Leila felt the cold in her hands, but mustered enough mana to summon more magic. Dust flitted from her hand but got swept away in the wind. The lizardmen were startled by this sudden light and stopped paying attention. Karim took advantage of this distraction to climb down on the other side of the house. 

Leila guided Karim through the streets without showing herself. When they got close to Kassandra's home, she became visible.  She led the way through dark streets until they were safe as the hooded lizardmen were converging all around. Kassandra shut the door, hid Karim under the table and held her breath. The footsteps grew distant down the street. 

There was something about this boy that she couldn't put her finger on. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tolkien-style Huorns for GURPS

Huorns (Grumpy, evil, barely sentient trees)

ST: 16 1d+1 imp, 2d+2 crHP: 16 X 4 (homogeneous)Speed: 5.00
DX: 8Will: 11Move: 2
IQ: 6Per: 10
HT: 12FP: 12SM: +3
Dodge: 5 (trunk), 8 (limbs)Parry: 10DR: 3 (Trunk), 1 (limbs)

Traits: Callous, Dislike (animals), Terror I

Skills: Brawling-14, Wrestling-15, Wrestle(Sweep)-14

Gears: Huorns are gearless.  They have a face, which can be spotted at Per-3 and then targeted. The face contain one seeing eye. Without this eye, Per goes down to 8 and is based on motion alone. 

Tactics: They use their limbs to either impale (thrust), sweep, crush (swing) or grapple. Against multiple foes, they will use sweep to hit many in one attack (up to 3 linear yards). If they impale, they will use the impaling limb to exert control points (CP) on their victim (for those of you using GURPS MA:Technical Grappling). If there is a need to hit hard, they can use their limbs to cause a 2d+2 crushing. If advantageous, all attacks can be considered to be coming from above, except for sweeps

Why they are awesome: Multiple limbs! A Huorn is made of a trunk (2 X base HP) and three limbs (16HP each).  Killing the trunk neutralizes the huorn, even though it doesn't destroy it. Consider the limbs to be freely moving around the creature at an angular speed of 1/2 rotation per game turn (This means a full slam from one side to the other. All three limbs can perform independent attacks as if they were three individuals. This makes the huorn a potent foe. 

A Huorn was featured in the session report of Reclaiming Khazad-dum's "The botanical Educations of dwarves".

Saturday, November 16, 2013

052 - Snuffing lives: the end of the Palantir Commission Campaign.

Before you read on, none of the deaths were PC deaths. So there, the title is misleading but the post isn't. The Palantir Commission has run its course. This post is the last session report for it, although a character-wise epilogue post will follow (so we can all have some closure).

Ulrich, 324 y.o., ice troll, tumbled down, way down.

I tossed my rock at a little archer, but she stepped aside. Across the room, I saw Armech fall to the ground for no obvious reason, Erlich was teetering. The intruders were streaming up the stairs and were about to break into the temple hall. I jumped over the bannister in an attempt to stomp on the little archer. I missed by a yard, slipped on the snowy stairs and toppled into the void (critical fail). My hand caught the stairs on the other side. I swivelled down by one swirl of the spiral staircase.  I landed on my back, with slightly more than my body overhanging, the snow under me turned to ice as a I slipped.

It didn't hurt, I landed head first on Merloch, who tumbled down the shaft at few minutes ago when the invaders first attempted to get to the temple. It could have been worst.

Erlich, 578 y.o., ice troll, humanely disposed of by a hobbit

I tossed my rock at the leader of the invaders. He, and the little bearded northmen had spoiled our surprise. Me was angry. My rock missed the mark and rolled down the stairs into the wall. To my left, Armech fell over backward for no particular reason. The last thing that I remember is the sight of a knight waving a twig at me. I blacked out. 

I wasn't awake when the battle was over, that Farathu lay dead on the floor and all of my friends but Borkum had died. I wan't awake to plead for mercy: a little hobbit gently walked to me and snuffed my life with a few strokes of a sword. I had so much potential.

Armech, 221 y.o., ice troll, inhumanely disposed of by a hobbit

I didn't even had the time to throw my stone when I felt the choking grip of witchcraft on my throat. I remember the look of Ulrich as I slipped backward and hit my head on the stone bench against the wall. 

When I woke up, both my eyes had been gouged and I couldn't find my bearings. The pain was searing. I could hear the rumours of battle, but I knew that my fate was decided. I tried to stand up once or twice, then I passed out for good.  

KerKhan, 324 y.o., ice troll, his last straw was a... knee lock

KerKhan is enjoying his last second in the upright position.
By the time that I managed to shoot my rock, a hobbit and an elf (without a nose) had run by me. I missed the elf by an inch! I jumped over the bannister and slammed into a Lossoth warrior (Nilppi). The lossoth made a crunchy noise and never stood up from my slam, at least until I expired. 

A little bearded Northling grabbed on to me. I tried to push him off, but he instead latched on with both arms and legs. There was no way that I could get rid of him (10 CP, pretty helpless). A dwarf sung his hammer at me, but I dodged it. Two more humans in chainmails moved forward. The chubby one with a longsword stabbed me in the arm, the other scratched me on the chest. I couldn't do much: even the filthy elf was coming back to hit me from the rear. 

My best bet was to try to jump backward over the bannister in an attempt to pop the northling off my chest. My jump attempt failed, badly: my foot got caught and I hit the bannister at the height of my shoulder blades. In the reclining position, I noticed that reinforcement had arrived! Farathu used his irresistible shout to force the Northling to let go. Borkum was picking up a stone bench to throw at the invaders. The dwarf tried to hit me on the head, but their leader managed to sink his sword deep into my throat. Out of breath, in utter pain, I could feel the Northling grabbing on to my leg but I couldn't shake him off. I don't know how he did this, but he snapped my knee backward. The shockwave ripped up my spine and I finally closed my eyes. 

An airborne stone bench grazed my cheek and slammed heavily on the invaders. But this is not part of my story: I was dead by the time that the bench hit the ground. 

Farathu, 4 y.o., Winter Drake, beheaded in his sleep by a warhammer (ouch!)

Less than a second before Farathu lose his head.
I am the campaign supervillain. I was a little unimpressed when Borkum roused me from my sleep with the news that there was invaders in the temple hall. By the time that we arrived in the hall, KerKhan was swarmed by them. I used my command to force the Northling to let go: he rolled off KerKhan and slipped from my sight. 

By then, KerKhan had been mortally hit at the neck by an inordinately tall man in chainmail. I caught the glimpse of another knight in the background waving a wand at me. His magic was weak, but I flukily was weaker. It was bedtime for this drake. 

I could feel Borkum dragging me on the ground, I was about to wake up. A blind dwarf was running in my general direction, I knew this dwarf... the invaders were the demon slayers from Forochel! My last memory of the screech of a possessed warhammer shearing my head off before I could move it out of the way. 

Borkum, 322 y.o., ice troll, retired to live another day

When I opened the door, a lossoth lay dead on the stairs while the other invaders were swarming KerKhan. I picked up a stone bench and threw it at the knights. The dwarf dodged, the leader mostly got out of the way but got hit on his leg. The brunt of the bench's mass landed on the third knight's groin. He should have died, but he didn't. He instead teetered until the elf caught him and used his witchcraft to prop him up for good. 

I pulled Farathu out of harm's way, but got overtaken by one of them hobbits. The dwarf ran up to the drake and pinned his head against the ground. I panicked and ran off to the hoard room. Some of the invader followed me there. The hobbit tried to make me surrender, but the nicer knight told me that my life would be spared if I helped them recover a large glass sphere. The sphere was across the chasm, and the little bearded Northling tried to make me jump across to get to it. 

The invaders were pretty smart: they found a secret door in the temple which lead to the hoard. They stuffed their pockets with as much gold as they could carry. I carried the big rock for them as we hiked out of the temple and through the valley. We parted the following morning. I was free, and frankly I still don't know what to do with freedom. 

There is a twist, which will be explained in the epilogue post!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Snow Elemental for GURPS

A Snow Elemental for GURPS


Shapithui is a voxel-based monster of size SM +3. It is a lich-form wraith which manifest itself as a 50 cubic yard animated entity of snow and ice. It isn't bound to specific snow/ice, but cannot exists in a smaller volume. Once a given cubic yard is possessed, Shapithui can use it to move like an amoeba: remove a block from somewhere and grow it back somewhere else. Shapithui's main strategy is to trap and smother its foes under pillars or walls of ice.

Shapithui's heart is one block (1 cubic yard) in which the tribal totem of the elders of Mulkan was inserted centuries ago. This allows elder Tiani to communicate with Shapithui as a fellow tribe member. Tiani's grip on Shapithui is not as good as the lore claims: the demon considers the Southron Stones to be his own, but cannot harm the Lossoths of his own tribe and thus must let them keep the stones for the time being. Shapithui is immortal, he is a patient demon.

An account of this snow elemental is found here. The PCs ended up fighting the demons as wraiths, which wasn't exactly planned when I designed the creature. 


ST 18, DX 10, IQ 8, HT 10, FP:- HP: special, Per:8, Will:10, SM+3, Move:(7, amoebic)
Traits: Unliving, Homogeneous, Controled by Magic, blind (Perceive auras at +4), 

Made of 50 blocks: 49 X HP39 1X1X1yd + 1 heart HP 20 DR5(semi-ablative)

Fighting against an Elemental


Shapithui must maintain a connection to the snow/ice pack at all time. He can extend over rocks and pavements, but cannot "disconnect" from the frozen ground. Shapithui can move up to 7 blocks of snow/ice per turn:
  • Release one block and claim a new one from existing snow or ice which is in contact with its own body. This is is main mode of movement where he can snake under the snow or in ice without being seen. Hearing the creaks is an easy (+2) hearing check or a hard (-3) vision check.
  • Absorb one block (remove from board) and grow another one above ground level (add a block). The growth must be in contact with the body, but can either be placed above or to the side of an existing one. The Absorption cab be done from under the feet of opponents.
  • Break away one stack of blocks and pivot it such that the blocks fall to the ground. This counts as a single move, regarless of the size of the stack.


Each block is made of 64lb or snow, ice, rocks, branches and bones scraped from the ground. Each has 32 HP and is considered homogeneous for the purpose of damage multipliers (X 1/2 impaling, etc.).  The damage cause varies with the block's position in the stack. Blocks falling from:
  • 1 yd: 1d-1
  • 2 yds: 1d+1
  • 3 yds: 1d+2
  • 4 yds: 1d+3
  • 5 yds: 2d
  • 6 yds: 2d+1, and so on...
The damage type caused by a falling block depend on the block's content: roll 3d6: 
  • 6 or less : impaling (Ice, bones, branches)
  • 7,8,12,13 : cut (Ice, assorted blade fragments)
  • 9-11: crushing (stones, bulk snow) 
  • 14+: Pi++ (bones, branches)


Once that a player has been slammed into the ground by falling snow by failing a dodge, the character is itself buried under. The character will be disoriented and must succeed a Per-2 check to figure out which way to dig in order to pull out. There is no need to check if the head or at least half of the body isn't buried. As per normal rules, a suffocating character incurs 1FP of damage per second while either the head or chest are buried. 

Breaking free is resolved similarly to a grapple against a ST 13 foe. Add +1 ST per block on top of a character (ST 14 if buried under two blocks). Others may assist if they succeed the a quick contest against the appropriate ST. In all cases, pulling out from Shapithui incurs 1d-2 damage (determine the type as described above). 

Moving over Shapithui

Shapithui growing a pillard to strike the wraiths.
All movement over Shapithui are done in rough footing (-1 to attack, -2 to defend), which may not be such a big deal since all snow and ice environment are already rough footing. Climbing 1 yds during a move action costs 2 MP, or 1 to end-up kneeling (SM0, SM1) or Lying down (SM-1). SM2 foe are not significantly affected by a 1 yd step. Standing up while a block is absorbed or grown requires a DX or acrobatic (whichever is better) or end kneeling (lying down on critical fails). 

Attacking Shapithui

Each block has 32 HP of homogeneous material. The elemental doesn't feel pain nor has any organs other than for the heart block. A major wound, causing 15 HP in one blow, expels the spirit from the block and also to all other blocks that depended in the collapsed block to connect to the heart. Discard all these blocks for the rest of the engagement. If there is enough snow or ice to be claimed around, Shapithui will regain these blocks at a rate of 2HP per day (16 days per blocks). If Shapithui is caught on pavement or rock, the loss of block is permanent. 

The company are going after Shapithui's heart.
The Heart is a special block which occurs randomly within the creature. The creature isn't aware of the position of its heart until it is struck and that it can feel pain. The position of the heart will be determined randomly. Seeking the heart is done at Per-3 if a character is actively searching for it and more than 1/2 of the blocks are in LOS to the character. If only 25 blocks are visible, the check is Per-4, 12 blocks mean Per-5, Per-6 for 6 blocks, Per-7 for 3 and Per-8 for 1 blocks only. If a character is not taking a concentrate action, the check is done at a -2 penalty. Finding the heart shouldn't be an easy feat and require a lot of agile footwork. Once a block is found, mark it as such.

The heart of a solid piece of clear ice which can be covered with dirt and snow at its surface. The heart itself has 20 HP and a semi-ablative DR5. Penetrating damage will expose the totem, which can be removed with a quick contest vs ST 13. Further penetrating damage reduces the ST by 1 each time. Shapithui will feel pain if the heart is struck. Suffering shock and attempting to bury its heart for 1 turn before becoming oblivious of its location again. If the heart is destroyed, Shapithui will return to the ground and regroup at the same rate as  described. The heart forming first.

Ripping the totem

Removing the totem from the heart will free the demon to do what he wants. And what he wants is to absorb the masterstone of Amon Sul as its new heart. Devoid of tribal affiliations, Shapithui would certainly enjoy a little retribution against Mulkan before vanishing deep into the frozen wastes of Forodwaith. 

Replacing the totem by shoving another one in its heart will make Shapithui oblivious to the tribe members, but in absence of a controlling elder, Shapithui will proceed on its own free will.

Friday, November 8, 2013

051 - The Numarii King

This session began where the last one ended, in the middle of an interrogation of an orc sergeant that had been put to sleep by Kasper's elf twig hoodoo voodoo. 

Thannolf bent down to the orc's face and repeated his question. The orcs smiled but didn't answer. The northerling lost patience and locked his elbow at a very awkward angle. The orc tapped out from pain and told the company that the dwarves should still be loyal to Farathu. Halin kicked him as they decided to let him go. The only way out was back to his bethren (and into certain death).

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

K18 - Cold rain over Mirkwood

This session introduced our new PCs and se the stage for the next chapter of the campaign. 

The dust is settling over Browek Bridge

At the end of the last session, the Mirkwood elves had learned from the dwarves that there was an orc nest with live elven sacrifice deep underground. Gormiel, the leader of the elves, managed to secure one of the key from Khazek. Four of them entered Sarn Goriwig, four accompanied the dwarves back to Browek Bridge while two other remained at large. After a few hours of grueling hiking, the orb was safe within the dwarf fort. 

On the following day, Drolf appropriated the second key of Sarn Goriwig and handed it to Gror. Drolf announced that the Ardacer was to leave to open the road while Gror would stay behind to hold the bridge. Gror, worried about giant spiders and orcs, ordered the Ledge-Lot to close the perimeter and the rangers to take stock of the surroundings. Gror's hold on the troop was very good (MoS 3), and his defensive plan excellent (MoS 3). The combination of patrols by the rangers and his own axmen allowed him to build a precise mental map of the surroundings (Intelligence Analysis, critical success).  The bulk of the orcs had melted away soon after their expedition within the tower. The reasons of this scattering was unknown, but probably related to the death of the wizard. 

Khazek, now solely at the head of 21 rangers, launched into increasingly far reaching patrols. His command of the troop was adequate (MoS 0), his tracking effort highly effective (MoS 7), which was instrumental in providing Gror with a clear situational awareness. About a few days later, Gormiel linked with the ranger. The tower was sealed, and elven wraiths were haunting it for now. Khazek realized that Gormiel was uncomfortable with the situation. Gormiel told Khazek that Prince Imeptanen was on his way to Browek Bridge to resolve the dispute over the ownership of the orb and the tower.