Saturday, November 6, 2021

The Mythic World of Urd: Necromancy and Undead Orcs

The following is from GameDoc's session notes, which are posted in our private social media.  You can listen as the Arcane Alienist describes the diplomacy style of his player characters...

The Mythic World of Urd
** The Mythic World of Urd Campaign Hub **

(AKA “Necromancy and Undead Orcs”)

Having killed most of the mercenary bandits and captured the few survivors and camp followers, the party decides to lay an ambush for the bandit captain, Serne Raxor. In exchange for clemency, two captured bandits agree to draw the captain out of his chambers, assuming he is there.

The bandits knock on the door, yelling about intruders in the cave complex and calling for Raxor to come help. Meanwhile, the party waits around the corner of the darkened corridor. Raxor’s lieutenant, Lirrit, answers the door and questions the two bandits before emerging into the corridor with another bandit.

Dolly approaches, greeting Lirrit and explaining that there’s been a misunderstanding. She is searching for a lost friend that she thought may have wandered into the cave. Raxor appears in the doorway, armed for battle, including a finely wrought shield. He is suspicious and although Dolly is emphatic in her bluff, he orders her killed.

However, the distraction is enough to let the rest of the party take them by surprise. Harald is able to shoot the bandit captain with an arrow. The party easily defeats Lirrit and the other guard, but Raxor doesn’t go down so easily. He drops Dolly with a blow from his axe, but Roderick is able to heal her before it’s too late. Harald plants two more arrows in him before he finally surrenders. Celestina indicates that his shelf is magical and Dolly claims it. 

"Orc" Hunting on Fantasy Grounds
"Nothing wrong with shooting - as long as the RIGHT people get shot." - Filthy Harald

When questioned, Serne Raxor reveals that he was hired out of the Northern Kingdoms by a woman named Viktora Ash. She is some sort of dark priest or necromancer, and is responsible for the ghouls that the bandits work alongside. Their mission is to raid along the tradeway. His only dealings with the goblins was to hand over any captives taken. He doesn’t know what kind of deal Viktora Ash made with them otherwise. 

Raxor will lead them to her to avoid the hangman’s noose. He then reveals a secret door leading to a hidden chamber where he meets with her from time to time. There is a second secret door on the other side of the room, but he has never gone past this room. He tells them that she stays somewhere in the caves beyond. 

The party ventures through a passage and comes to a door. There is no discernible sound from the other side. Dolly kicks the door open and is confronted by two undead warriors - the animated corpses of yet more orcs Further into the room, Dolly sees a cloaked figure emerge and begin to chant a spell. 

Dolly, Roderick, and the retainer Dominique briefly battle with the undead in attempt to breach the doorway before Hedemar is able to turn them with his holy symbol. The warriors cut down the stunned undead. The cloaked figure unleashes a spell obscuring the doorway in darkness. 

Roderick and Harald rush into the darkness and Harald finds his way through and comes face to face with Viktora Ash. The amulet hanging from her neck bears an  unholy symbol of Chaos. In the meantime, Dolly lobs a bomb into the room, hoping to hit their foe, but overshoots and the bomb explodes without harming anyone. 

Harald jabs Viktora Ash in the shoulder with the spike of his halberd and in return she places her palm on his arm and drains away a sliver of his life force with an unholy spell. He overbrears her and pins her to the floor as Roderick emerges from the darkness and piles on.

The party interrogates the evil priestess. She confesses that her cult slaughtered a local band of orcs to use their corpses to create undead and  She doesn’t know what was promised to the Troll King by her superiors, only that the goblins were to clear the forest and manufacture gunpowder. When asked about the kobold’s queen, she replies that she was taken back to the kobold’s original lair for safekeeping. When asked what her ultimate goals are, she only replies “Chaos!”

Searching the room, the party discovers a magical rope of climbing, which Jessup (the thief) stows in his pack, a page apparently torn from a book on the history of the region, and a stone head that appears to have been broken from a statue. The head is that of an orc and the details are uncannily realistic. Harald conjectures that it must have been a monument to some great orcish hero, to which Viktora Ash laughs aloud and says “He was brave to end, for sure. Didn’t even cower when the time came.”

Suddenly, the kobold retainer Hagle gasps “The queen!” Revealing that the kobold’s queen can turn people to stone. The party agrees that they need to find the queen as quickly as possible, but Viktora Ash taunts them again, asking if they think they can rescue her before everyone the humans hold dear “explodes”. It seems they also need to figure out what the bugbears did with all that gunpowder. 

Viktora will tell them no more and seems willing to die rather than let anything else slip. The party briefly searched the remains caverns, finding and destroying several more undead orcs before heading back to the castle with their sole prisoner (Raxor and the remaining bandits having ran off), who will presumably be hanged for both banditry and heresy.

Upon examining the torn page, Dolly sees that it tells of the deaths of Zelligar the Unknown and Rhaegan the Fearless along with their companions in the collapse of the tower while confronting the orc warlord Azhug III centuries ago. She notes that Roderick’s ancestor and namesake was among the heroes to fall that day. The page also makes a passing reference to Rhaegan and Zelligar’s secret base of operations - Quasqueton - thought to be hidden somewhere in the area

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