Thowin Four Fingers, a fighter
Imorfin the elf
Reldari the cleric, and his torchbearer, Nux
Fretta the Dark, a thief
Balork the Medium, a magic-user and Bursus, his man-at-arms
We rejoin the party on the first level of Stonehell, packing up their gear after a brief rest…
Loro rolled up his drawings of the dwarven architecture and stuck them in his pack as Thowin and Imorfin got the rest of the group ready to move out.
New torches were lit and the party followed the only passage out of the chamber, soon reaching an intersection. The halls were silent, offering no real clue as to which passage to pursue. They tried the western passage first, but it led to an empty chamber and nothing of interest was found save for some unintelligible scribblings on the stone walls.
Thowin led the way back to the intersection and down the eastern passage. They soon entered another chamber, this one littered with piles of foul-smelling offal, bones of various sizes (and species) and other detritus. As the group considered whether to try and navigate the nastiness to an opening in the opposite corner of the room, Bursus noticed some movement in a nearby trash pile.
Suddenly a horde of giant-sized rats poured out, surging towards the party like
a brown wave. With weapons already drawn, the party was ready for the charging rodents, and within a few seconds, six of the rats were dead. Save for a few nips which were't close to penetrating boot leather, the rats didn't put up much of a fight. A couple more were cut by the party's blades and suddenly the remaining rats turned tail and headed back into the piles of waste.
Just as Balork muttered something about unnecessary noise, four visitors barged into the chamber from the opposite side of the room. "Orks!" Fretta turned and loosed an arrow, striking one of the four and the fight was on. Imorfin, Reldari, Bursus, and Loro the dwarf followed a charging Thowin Four Fingers into the fray.
One of the orks shouted out a warning down the passage from which they emerged. Thowin cursed, wondering how many orks might be around the corner. The big fighter then cut down one of the foes with his two-handed sword. Loro took an arrow in the shoulder, but the dwarf battled on.
(Morale check showed that orks would fight on.)
Reldari took a nasty cut across his chest, but the good cleric wouldn't back away from the fight. He offered words of encouragement to Bursus, who was having the better of it with his foe. Suddenly a gong sounded from whence the orks came. A collective sense of dread washed across the party. What to do?
(Q: Does the party flee after hearing the gong? Unlikely - I figured they would stick around a bit since the orks were outnumbered, for now at least. 53 - party fights on. Some rolls behind the screen revealed that two waves of ork reinforcements would arrive in a few rounds.)
The fighting was messy as man, elf, dwarf, and ork all slipped and tripped, struggling to find firm footing in the offal-filled chamber. But luck seemed to be with the party. First Imorfin cut down an ork and then Bursus dropped another.
(The lone remaining ork failed a morale check and decided to bolt.)
The last ork turned and ran for the exit, dodging a swing from Loro. Fretta loosed a last arrow, but it was well wide of the mark. The party quickly caught their breath and after a brief discussion it was decided Reldari would use his spell of healing on himself, as his wound was much more serious than the injuries to Loro and Thowin.
Before the party could consider further action, three more orks arrived, two of them armed with bows. Fretta fired again wide of the mark, and the albino thief cursed under her breath. Imorfin caught a shaft in the shoulder and grimaced in pain.
(Q: Does party fight on? Likely, given there are only 3 orks. 44, Yes. And the doubles mean that a random event occurs. The RE table in Mythic reveals a PC Negative event: Attract a Project. Hmmmmm)
Loro the dwarf tugged at Thowin. "We agreed a full share for me, eh?" The fighter reluctantly agreed. It was a little difficult to refuse in the middle of the fight. Loro winked as he hefted his axe and then the dwarf charged the orks.
Imorfin and Thowin each cut down an ork, leaving only one. Loro squared up against the last foe and drew blood. But the ork retaliated with a vicious blow of his own, and Loro the dwarf dropped to the mucky floor, thus ending the shortest employment for a mercenary in recorded history.
Suddenly a group of seven orks burst into the chamber, six ork fighters led by a huge brute, obviously their captain. Imorfin and Thowin immediately turned to engage. Balork, who had been holding his Sleep spell in reserve, finally decided that he could wait no longer and the magic-user cast the spell.
(Imorfin and Thowin were both caught in the area of effect of the spell along with the orks. 9 HD were affected - the 7 1HD orks, as well as Imorfin and Thowin. All missed their save vs. spells - I'll post soon about my house rules)
Reldari, Fretta, Bursus and Balork, now out of magic, faced the ork captain. The latter hefted a wicked looking battle-axe and sneered at the weaklings before him.
(To be continued…)