Wednesday, October 1, 2014

K38 - A beard in Hell

Dude, where is my butler?

Bain toured the HQ once more in East Gate hall and started to wonder about Thordar. He hadn't seen the dwarf in over a day. He asked around: no one seemed to know where he was, as usual. Bain had a hunch that something could be wrong, and ordered his sub-commanders to find his butler.

A dwarf from the Mithril reported to the viceroy 30 minutes later. According to him, Thordar may have been caught on the wrong side of the cave in. Bain demanded explanations as to why no one informed him of this. The dwarf replied that he just assumed that someone else had reported.

Both accesses to the Marzabuul stairs were now collapsed. The only way to bypass the cave-ins involved a daredeath hike on the cliff walls of the chasm. The viceroy tasked the rangers to find a path there and ordered his son Gror to descend into the 4th deep and scout the North-South highway that was just discovered.

Mountain goat fun ride

Khazek took 14 of his rangers to the hatchet dwelling where a path to the chasm was known. There, he paid a brief visit to Deema the bride. She was not in a great mood, bid him well and hoped that Thordar would return the heads of one hundred orcs.  Khazek smiled dryly.

The dwelling connected to a terrasse on the bottomless chasm. Khazek tried to find a reasonable climbing route but lost his nerve and passed the duty to Farin Sonnetus, one of his subordinates. Farin free-climbed and setup tacks for the other to cross without too much trouble.

Orcs could be heard in the far distance to the north (where they were headed). Khazek spotted the glow of a dying torch. Thordar was lying there, lifeless.

Bleeding life on the floor

A while earlier, Thordar shuffled around the corpses of the orcs to recover his smallsword and a torch. He was on the verge of collapse and racing against time before blood loss would get the best of him. He was still clear headed when he crossed the beam to the near side of the chasm. However, he slowly drifted in and out of consciousness as the arrow wound from his side kept on bleeding.

The burn on his cheek started to sear, he knew that due to the curse from the underdeep, he would turn into some kind of ghoul when he expires. Internally, despair, hope and an growing hunger for fresh flesh were brawling. He pulled his fake beard and collapsed on the ground (now down to -2HP). The torch struggled to remain lit on the horizontal floor. Praise Iluvatar, Thordar made three HT check in a row and stopped bleeding.

Romantic rivalries

Khazek hurried ahead of Farin to get to Thordar as fast as possible. When he got to firm ground, at the mouth of the road to the Marzabuul stairs, Thordar lifted his eyes and recognized his romantic rival. The two dwarves realized that they were both in a good place to eliminate each other from the race to the heart of Deema the bride (they both passed their Will vs the obsessions, sadly, but both players decided to fly with the idea).

Khazek kicked Thordar's beard into the chasm and motion to tie the butler with a rope so that they could escape before the arrival of the orcs. Thordar, however, took the jettison of his beard badly and drew his smallsword. There was a struggle when Khazek tried to knock Thordar unconscious. In the end, Thordar let Khazek rope him in and whisk him up to a ledge. A mere minutes after, the orcs arrived and passed through the arch towards the stairs. The other rangers kept quiet on the cliff side.

The place got overrun by more orcs. With a bruised-feeling Thordar still at -2HP, the rangers stranded on a cliff, the list of options to get out of trouble was getting rather thin.

Follow the yellow brick road

Gror took with him the Trove-Lot from the Mithril Attack. He knew these dwarves and trusted them to keep it cool in the depth of Khazad dum. They passed through the squeeze and carefully proceeded to the yellow brick road. Some 4 hours laters, they arrived on the highway. Gror left a detachment to keep the way in and took the bulk Northward towards the center of the city. His intimate knowledge of subterranean help him keep the troop to some reasonable level of noise discipline. Acting as the point-person, he spotted the glow of a distant torch and the shuffle of feet ahead.

The Trove-Lot setup for an ambush by using the rubble in the tunnel as concealment. They didn't manage to surprise the orcs, but the battle-guard, supported by the crossbowdwarves, made short order of the unprepared orcs. All that was left alive was a smaller orc held by the other with chains to his wrists.

Theomedonus, heir and prince of the Snagai orcs

The prisoner addressed the dwarves in broken common. He introduced himself as Theomedonus, heir and prince of the Snagai orcs. Theomedonus was smartly dressed for an orcs, although of a small and twisted stature that made him looked simultaneously dignified and pathetic. Gror set aside contempt for long enough to get from him that he was seeking the Dwarf Chieftain to propose an alliance against common ennemies. The dwarves shared a chuckle. However, Gror thought better than simply snuffing the emissary on the spot.

Before leaving, they staged the scene to look like a grizzly internal struggle.  The result wasn't professional theater-grade, but could possibly fool stupid-enough orcs. They returned to the HQ over the next 5 hours and arrived there slightly passed their usual bedtime.

 (Campaign home)


  1. Oh, man, I am so sad that I missed this session! Thank you for taking care of Khazek in my absence (and attempting to take care of Thordar as well!)

    Khazek always liked Thordar, though, honestly, he never got along with his beard much, this was just bound to happen at some point!

    1. The beard is a doozy, indeed. One day, when it turns out that Deema is gay or something, Khazek and Thordar will probably be great drinking buddies. I thought that I'd keep Khazek into abstract land but Bain sent him on a key mission, so I offered Arne to take care of business. Khazek will need you in two weeks to get out of this.