Conquering the Barbarian Altanis: Session 72


Character Class Description
Rangar the Bull Fighter level 1 Titanic, dark-skinned figure wearing bull-headed helmet and a harness with countless weapons strapped to it.
Ervain Cleric level 1 A cleric.
Nolmbork Dwarf level 1 Portly, bald, red bearded, with an epic nose. On a mission to have a drink in every settlement in Wilderlands.
Ryan Magic-User level 1 A magic-user.
Celeborn of Revelshire Elf level 1 Hails from a distant community led by an Ent. Also potentially the ugliest elf you've ever met.

Coldrain 15th, Spiritday

After his friends broke off to interrogate their orc prisoner, Derennan went to the Pleasure Palace to face Zarifa. As usual, he had to wait for hours.

“Rank and disheveled as usual. What is so urgent? What kind of “marvels” have your brought this time? More balls?”

“Your boyfriend is dead, died lusting after more gems with which to impress you. The priest at the Temple of Poseidon says they might be able to bring him back for a price beyond our means.”

“What, that cold bitch Mavis!” Zarifa exploded “I wouldn't even let her tend to a stray cat, let alone–” her voice begun to crack “–my sweet brainiac!”

It took her a few moments to regain her composure. Once she did, she continued in her standard, condescending style.

“Where is he? When did he die? How did he die? Who was with him when he died?”

“His body is at the temple, I left money for his care. He died a few days ago, we made our way here as soon as possible. He died at the tip of an orc's spear, the orc and his companions are now dead. I and some newer colleagues were with him when he died.”

Zarifa squinted and gritted her teeth audibly. “You did well. Fetch his corpse at once. Two slaveboys will accompany you. I also want you to bring here your new colleagues. I will commission your portraits—-as a small gift for your deed.”

Tamren was the first to accept the invite, posing as follows: straight-backed, holding his sword pommel with both hands, point-down in front of him, doing his best to look stern.

“Excuse me, would you mind taking off your helmet for the painting?”


Painter sighed and did what he was paid to do.

“So, Tamren, how did Barad die? What were you doing at that time?”

“He died a true hero! In a glorious battle against many foes, dozens fell under his mighty blows.”

Zarifa left without saying a word. Five hours later the portrait was done. It looked... Acceptable.

“You can pick it up once all have been finished.”

Hagar was next to pose. Hagar took a pensive stance of brooding power. Zarifa asked him the same questions as she did Tamren. To that dwarf replied that Barad died a good death, rushing forwards to discharge his wand at the Orc cleric, possibly saving the party thereby. Hagar stood on his right, hewing the orcs but could not prevent the spear that took him in the stomach.

Nolmbork was next to spend a day posing for the portrait. He made a big show of his wounds before assuming heroic pose with a large grin.

“Barad died protecting his comrades from a horde of fifty orcs! I was by his side as he went down! A tragedy, tragedy!”

Derennan refused to be portrayed. He was more interested in selling Zarifa jewelled scabbard and few gems they've recovered from slain orcs.

“Then take this emerald silk scarf as token of gratitude for returning my love to me. Wear it around your biceps and you will always strike true.” Derennan took the scarf and wrapped it as she asked.

Either way, by Coldrain 15th Nolmbork and Celeborn were fully rested and eager to return to the Den. They will find out what the hell is this Red Dragon mystery even if it proves to be the last thing they do in their life.

To increase their odds they recruited three more adventurers: Rangar the Fighter, Ervain the Cleric, and Ryan the Magic-User. They reached the Drug Den by evening of Coldrain 16th.

Coldrain 16th, Airday

Descending down the poorly concealed shaft landed the party in the same bell-shaped chamber as before. And where else should it take them to, right?

Three impaled orcs in advanced stages of decomposition was a novel element of this room's dressing.

“This must be a warning sign to anyone coming down here.”

“This one has a familiar pig snout... Must be the ones we slaughtered weeks ago.”

Following a brief discussion, the party agreed to investigate corridors to the east. Rangar the Bull forced the doors open with great noise. Ryan the Torchbearer, standing in the back, heard faint sounds of lute or similar string instrument coming from his left.

“Let's move.”

“Anyone has a ten foot pole? No? No one?”

Celeborn the Wise ripped out one of the spears impaling an orc corpse.

“This will suffice!”

Pressing on, they soon reached a t-shaped junction. Ignoring the right turn, they moved on, only to reach another right turn. Another junction around the corner. This time they took the left turn, and marched down the corridor until they hit end—solid doors.

“Can't hear a thing.”

“Well, open them then!”

These doors opened outwards, i.e. towards the party. They too required a bit of muscle to open. Angled walls to the left and right were lined with bookshelves, which in turn were littered with books, parchments, and torn papers. Several melted and trampled candles could be seen on the floor. Vandalised reading chair laid on its side in the south-east portion of the chamber.

Failing to find any traps, the party moved in and began combing the chamber. Nolmbork stood guard by the doors they came through.

Many of the books had proven to be of very mundane nature. This was no arcane library, nor study of any arts. Ervain did stumble upon a distinctly different leather-bound tome. Although it was missing many pages, those intact were covered with weird symbols and unrecognisable letters. Not even Celeborn could make sense of them!

Besides bookshelves, there were also three doors in the eastern portion of the room: one in the north-east corner, one in the middle of east wall, and one in the south-east corner.

“I'll pack that in my backpack.”

“Quiet! I hear voices!”

Indeed, Nolmbork heard primitive grunts from behind the closed doors. They went quiet as did the party. Rangar joined Nolmbork by the doors and then they waited. And waited. And waited.

And then doors swung open.

Four pig-faced humanoids armed with clubs. Thoroughly unsurprised and thoroughly intent on beating the party up.

Adventurers held a tactically superior position, having the orcs in a bottle neck. Nolmbork and Rangar we blocking the passageway. Celeborn was stabbing with spear from second rank. Ervain was attacking from left flank, while Ryan took out his dagger and attacked from right flank.

Celeborn and Ryan were first to draw blood. In fact, the wizard had slain an orc with a single blow of his dagger! Blood was gushing everywhere as he severed the creature's neck.

Unfortunately Nolmbork and Rangar were getting concussed by the round. Still, they stood their ground, refusing to budge under the relentless attacks of pig-faced monsters.

“Press, press you worms!” a large, mace-wielding orc roared as four more charged on, forcing those in front to fight to death.

At this moment things started to fall apart. Not because of the orc captain, for him and his scoundrels were still stuck in the corridor. No, it was because of the five pig-faced bastards that charged out from south-east doors.

Now the adventurers were completely surrounded, and what used to be a great position had started to turn into a deathtrap. Rangar fell first, his head a swollen mess. Celeborn jumped over the fallen warrior and fought off five orcs. Five! All by himself!

Nolmbork was next to succumb to the beatings. Ervain kept smashing heads with his mace; Ryan kept on slaying orcs with his trusty dagger and mighty thews; Celeborn skewered all those surrounding him.

“I'll pull out your teeth and tongue; I'll rip out your eyes and parade you down the halls!” large orc roared as he chucked a wailing piglet to the side.

“Come, I'll kill you too!” Celeborn retorted in Orcish. And he followed up on his promise by piercing the monster through he ear, and consequently, head.

Remaining few orcs scattered in panic, fleeing west and south. The surviving trio gave chase but gave up afraid of being led into an ambush or some trap. Hence they returned to the chamber.

Ryan ran to south doors and listened carefully. Celeborn and Ervain checked on their fallen comrades.

A miracle!

Both were still alive, albeit properly beaten up and unconscious.

“Can't hear a thing. Better check anyway.”

Ryan opened the doors.

Three goblins with drawn swords, and two snot covered and red-eyed orcs behind them, stared at the magic-user.

He slammed the doors shut.

Ervain and Celeborn ran and pressed them, proving stronger than the opposition on the other side.

Ryan the Magic-User remembered that he is a magic-user and not an assassin, and cast Protection from Evil.

“Stand back and let them in. We'll slash them one by one!”

“Look! Incoming from the right!”

Another group of goblins ran through the west doors, which were propped open by all the piled up corpses. An orc with an eye patch, spear, and long sword by his hip walked in behind them.

He took a stand just beyond entrance, between comatose Nolmbork and Rangar.

“Hold formation as I thought you! Ignore those at the front, go for the guy in robes! Kill him first!”

Celeborn decapitated one with an arrow, while Ervain split the skull of the other with sling stone. Alas they were soon completely surrounded and overwhelmed.

Celeborn valiantly stood his ground. He was slowly hacked to death, round by round, cut by cut.

Ervain did not fare much better. He too fought bravely until the very end.

“Good, good! No, do not stop to celebrate! Make sure they are really dead!” grizzly Orc grunted with pride.

Ryan fought with his back to the wall, slaying few more with his trust dagger before he himself was stabbed to death. He was the last to fall.

Rangar opened his eyes to a horrific scene.

Bunch of goblins slashing his allies to death. So many, so many of them. Some murky figure was standing over him, laughing.

Summoning all his strength, Rangar leaped off the ground and smashed the one-eyed orc with his handaxe.

Ryan held torch as long as he could. It extinguished with him.

Nolmbork pushed himself off the ground, dazed and with throbbing headache. Still, he was aware enough to finish what Rangar had started.

The laughing orc gasped for air. And then he slumped to the ground lifeless.

Remaining snivelling orcs fled once again. Goblins on the other hand charged at the barely standing duo.

Rangar poured out oil and set it on fire. Goblins lobbed insults until the fighter hurled a javelin at them.

Illustrated by kickmaniac

The duo dragged themselves out, leaving few more fire gifts for their pursuers.

Once outside they marched an hour through the night. The Sister Moons shone guided them to a perfect spot to rest at.

Two badly wounded warriors were barely moving. Desperate, they doffed their armours. Lighter, they marched straight to Hara, stopping only when they absolutely had to.

Will they ever find the Red Dragon?

Discuss at Dragonsfoot forum.

#Wilderlands #SessionReport

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