The party follows the orc into some caverns, where dozens of escaped slave orcs have holed up, armed with scavenged weapons and piecemeal armour. They met the leaders of the orcs, and make an alliance. The orcs allow them to rest, so the party catches up on some sleep, tends to their wounds, and after resting are woken by the orcs. It seems that there is trouble: the giants have used their wolves to track the party to the blockage and are now starting to dig their way through it, using Stone Giants and orc slaves to shift the rubble. In less than an hour they’ll be through!
Plans are swiftly made: one of the tunnels is blocked off, another has a lantern lit and positioned so that any giants breaking through it will spot it first. Halmary sets a glyph of warding further up the passage, so that can delay any pursuit in case they need to retreat. Then they arrange themselves in the corridor behind the rubble the giants are digging through, while the orcs get themselves ready to follow whatever the party does, hoping that they manage to fight the giants and not get everyone killed in the process.
The giants keep on digging, until the stone giant in front is revealed from waist to head, too caught up in his work to spot the lurking adventurers: unaware until Xellos uses a scroll of dismember to sever the giant’s leg, sending it screaming in pain to the hard floor and shocking its allies. Corvin yells out, in the giant tongue, “It’s cursed, cursed!” which makes the giant’s allies even more confused, and while they stood stunned, Halmary blesses the party, and Sidni charges out of the tunnel, down onto the fallen giant and starts hacking away at him with his great sword. Corvin runs up behind him, finally relinquishing his invisibility by throwing a javelin of lightning at the row of monsters in the corridor behind the hollering giant: a bolt of electricity arcs from body to body, crisping two ogres, a dire wolf and four of the orc slaves. Ungrid quaffs another potion of growth, doubling his size, and Halmary charges up the dwarf’s sword with a striking prayer. In the corridor, an angered and fearless Hill Giant comes towards them, shrugging off a bolt fired from Xellos’ arbalest, while Ungrid stomps on top of the wounded Stone Giant and puts him out of his misery with a powerful thrust through his heart.
Sidni grabs the last of the lightning javelins and uses it to incinerate a pair of Hill Giants and their ogre allies, and into the midst of the remaining monsters (ogres and bugbears, all still stunned by the sudden and ferocious attack) the rest of the party moves: Corvin wounds a bugbear, and Halmary smashes its skull. Ungrid steps up to an ogre and decapitates it, and the last Hill Giant steps up to attack, still fearless and mad with rage; the bugbears hurry off to warn their masters, and while one escapes upstairs, the other comes back with a Fire Giant in tow. The fearless Hill Giant is confronted by Sidni’s spear and Corvin’s bow, and a final arrow fells the giant. Then the former man and the giant dwarf take the battle to the Fire Giant, and Sidni is almost cut in half by the giant’s sword, only managing to continue fighting when Halmary runs in and magically heals her. Ungrid delivers the death blow to the Fire Giant, and the remaining bugbears fall to the combined blows of the other adventurers.
The silence after the swift and bloody battle is deafening. From the caverns the sounds of the awed orcs can be heard as they follow the adventurers, while upstairs, shouts of alarm can be dimly heard.
End of Session
Kills: 3 bugbears, 5 ogres, 3 hill giants, 1 fire giant, 1 stone giant, 1 dire wolf, 4 poor orc slaves.
Posted this over on G+, thought I’d share them here too, in case anyone (other than my few select viewers) reads this blog :)
The two smaller maps are going to be mini-adventures, on blank cards, that I intend to post to some people. If anyone wants one, let me know. The larger map I intend to use as the basis for the One-Page Dungeon competition.
I quite like these. My mapping skills are improving me thinks.
With the freed orc slaves spilling out of the cells, Sidni, Xellos, Ungrid and Halmary finish off the bugbear guards, whilst Corvin peers around the corner and spies the advancing bugbears. A decision is swiftly made: they need to fight their way out, through the bugbears, find the elven king and escape. Then, one of the freed orcs tells them that there is a ‘secret’ way out, where escaped slaves flee to, a narrow passage over the blockage at the end of the corridor. They decide to head that way instead, since it appears that the elf king is in one of the upper cells– perhaps– past the way the party entered the dungeon.
Directing the orcs down the two passages to create a barrier between the giants in the torture chamber and the forge– basically sacrificing the orcs to enable the party to escape easier– the party head into the mass of approaching bugbears, while everyone but Corvin (still invisible) wounds bugbears by mace, spear or bolts, Ungrid proves himself to be a dwarven killing machine, as he dives into the bugbears and slaughters one after another, cleaving two, three, four at a time: they fall like leaves from a tree in the depths of autumn, and the enlarged dwarf crushes their bodies under foot as his cleaves a path through them, the others following in his wake and helping as best they can. Behind them, the orcs fight the giants, and soon end up being slaughtered themselves, especially when the pair of Fire Giants enter the battle, cutting their way through the orcs as easily as Ungrid cuts through their former jailers.
Soon they are by the blockage, and from a shadow on the top of the blockage, an orc whispers to them to follow him through the hidden passage: one-by-one the party filter through the narrow tunnel, into a darkened network of tunnels, leading off into a cavern. The orc beckons them and they follow…
…while outside the giants finish killing orcs and kicking them into their cells again.
But did they see where the party go to?
End of Session
Kills: 24 bugbears.
The hill giant and his dire wolves turn down another corridor, unaware of the party hiding around the corner still under the globe of silence emanating from Halmary’s coin. They wait for a few minutes, expecting the giant to return, and when no one does Corvin scouts ahead and reports back (by tugging their sleeves) that all is safe. They hurry across to the map room, wherein the secret door to the dungeon below lies. Xellos takes a peek into the armoury, using the wand of detect magic to find that the javelins are magical. They pick them up and take them along as they descend down the stairs, lighting their lanterns and torches. Halmary casts find traps and directed by Corvin they find that the pile of urns and coins are trapped, no doubt triggering the portcullis by the entrance. As they explore the large, empty room, they notice more portcullis and shadows beyond: from behind which a flurry of spikes fly through the bars, narrowly missing Ungrid!
Sidni chucks a torch through the bars, revealing four angry manticores that aim their tails at the party, sending spikes hurtling through the gaps between the bars, grazing Halmary and Ungrid; everyone moves out of sight, and as Ungrid and Halmary tend to their wounds, the others discuss ways of getting past the manticores, suggesting using their gaseous form potion, searching for secret doors, more scouting above ground, and decide to see what– if anything– lies behind the portcullis. Halmary illuminates one of Sidni’s arrows with a light spell, and sends it into the lair, lighting the room: a large chamber with a passage leading off. Meanwhile, Ungrid notices a secret door in the wall, leading to a passageway with peep holes looking out into an entrance hall. Corvin sneaks through the secret door, scouting down corridors and finding what might be cells guarded by bugbears; a carnivorous ape hiding in an alcove above a giant-sized doorway; and a pair of sleeping giants in a torture chamber. The rest follow him as he reports back, signalling each other by sign language, using the cover of the dwindling silence spell to sneak up to the ape. Sidni decides to hurl one of the javelins at the ape, to test its magic, and it transforms into a lightning bolt, knocking the ape out of the alcove and allowing Xellos to finish it off with a great sweep of his axe.
They head south, and pounce on what seems to be a lone bugbear guard, unaware that through a doorway opposite is a guard room with several more bugbears– and beyond them, through another door, a whole battalion of them! Even under cover of silence the bugbears are quick to act as one of their own falls to Sidni’s great sword, Lord Quench, and move to attack, while others flung open the door and alert the guards inside.
Sidni, Xellos and Ungrid wade into the bugbears cutting them down, while Corvin and Halmary run around to the other side and manhandle a large bench across the doorway that they suspect– correctly– opens into the barracks; they block the doorway, while bugbears on the other side start trying to force it open.
On the other side it soon becomes obvious that there are dozens of bugbears, and although they fall fairly easily to the party’s blades, some of the spikes from the bugbear’s morning stars penetrate their armour, and the three fighters decide a retreat is in order. To aid them, Ungrid quaffs a growth potion and doubles his size and strength; the bugbears fall even easier to his cutting and thrusting sword. Xellos, now injured, backs off and unleashes a sleep spell, felling several of the bugbears trying to break open the door.
From another door, a bugbear pops out and spies Halmary: he runs off to the giant-sized door, shouting for help. Halmary charges after him, but fails to deal with him before he alerts the Keeper, a deformed hill giant and his ape burst through the door and give chase to Halmary as he runs off to warn the others.
While all this is going on, Corvin heads over to the cells, opening the doors to reveal cramped cells stuffed full of orc slaves; he slams the doors shut afterwards. The others retreat from the guard room, and Ungrid bumps into the ape as it rounds the corner, and cuts it down. Sidni slams the barrack’s door shut and Xellos wizard locks it, forcing the bugbears to head the other way, through the door that is suddenly freed from the bench blocking it as the giant pulls it free.
The party regroup by the junction of the corridor, bugbears coming down the main corridor, the giant following behind. Xellos hurls a javelin of lightning at the giant, shocking it and burning it; and Sidni kills it as he hurls another at the Keeper, electrocuting it!
The bugbears pause, but their bosses urge them on, and they hurry down the corridor as the party back away. One of their bosses heads upstairs to warn the giants above. Ungrid, Xellos and Sidni turn down another corridor to more cells, slaying the bugbear guards and opening doors to reveal more orc slaves. A call– in giant– from Corvin makes the orcs think they are free, and they surge out of the cells, and smash into the bugbears, attacking them with whatever they can get their hands on…
End of Session
Kills: dozens of bugbears, 2 apes, and a hill giant.