Saturday, October 23, 2021

The Mythic World of Urd: "Orc" Hunting

The following comes from GameDoc's session notes on our private social media.  You can also check out another recap of the game at the Arcane Alienists' Podcast, where he goes into much more detail...

The Mythic World of Urd
** The Mythic World of Urd Campaign Page **

After their battle with ghouls made from dead orcs and human bandits disguised as live orcs, the party returns to the dwarves' mine to rest and reclaim their mounts. The next morning they set out to track the “orcs.” The trail leads them to another cave in the forest.

The entrance is decorated with a row of skulls and severed heads mounted on a ledge above. As they scout the vicinity, Roderick discovers another cave obscured by the undergrowth of the forest. It emanates the stench of rotten flesh and a grave chill not unlike that of the ghouls encountered the day before. Roderick’s clerical attunement also senses the presence of chaos. He retreads back to the others.

Meanwhile, Dolly senses a brief movement from one of the mounted heads and moves forward to get a closer look, but it remains still. At last she hurls a stone at it to which it cries out in pain  and falls back into a small opening that had been unseen behind it until then. 

But before anyone else can react, a trio of orcish ghouls emerge from the second cave. Everyone is able to react with ranged attacks before the ghouls can reach them and Roderick then calls upon the power or Saint Cyrus to turn them. The ghouls retreat back into their cave. 

Dolly moves back to inspect the place where the severed head had moved. Seeing nothing there, she lights a poster bomb and tosses it up into the hole. A few seconds later all can hear the explosion from within. Dolly climbs up and through the opening while everyone else enters the skull-lined entrance.

Dolly finds herself in a small alcove where there is gray curtain, a dead human, and a charred, shattered stool, both the handiwork of her bomb. The human had painted his face to resemble an orc so that he could sit on the stool and rest his chin on the ledge with the stone-colored curtain behind him so as to appear to be a severed head perched on the ledge and keep a lookout. 

Beyond the alcove is a large cavern set up as a crudely furnished dining hall. A passageway exits to the east, seemingly in the direction of the cave entrance. To the west is a pair of large curtains covering another set of exits. Dolly peeks behind one and sees several bandits readying weapons. There are about 20 or so camp followers and children as well. She backs into the dining hall and crouches behind a table.

Meanwhile the others are immediately confronted just inside the cave entrance by four human bandits. They quickly kill two and capture the others, but not before the alarm is raised. Harald looks back to see the dining hall and Dolly waiting there as more bandits emerge from behind the curtains. The party converges on the dining hall as yet another group of bandits appears from somewhere deeper in the cave complex.

Despite being surrounded, the party holds their own. Roderick falls to a bandit's sword, but his kobold retainer, Hagle, quickly applies a healing potion and the revived Roderick rejoins the fight. All but two of the bandits are killed. The captives (now numbering four) explain that their mercenary company was hire to raid along the tradeway disguised as orcs.

Their ghoul allies remain in the nearby cave until called on to joint raiding parties. They don’t know where the ghouls came from. They were already here when the bandits arrived to set up camp. The ghouls have helped ensure there were few survivors and that the attacks were so quick that those who escaped had little time to realize their attackers aren’t actually orcs. 

When asked about the kobold’s queen, the bandits know nothing. The bandits suggest their captain knows all the details of who hired them and what other plans may be afoot. They agree to help lure their captain out of his quarters if he’s there. It seems he has some means of coming and going from the cave complex undetected when he wants to.

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