Reins of Darkness

Session 3: Kseen's Second Report

Legate? Is that like a big spider?

Author’s Note: Sorry for the change in tone from the last one, I remembered that Kseen is illiterate and that these reports must be given in person…

Master Anansi, where was I—Oh yes. The legate in the dwarven treasure vault.

The legate and her—yes, on closer inspection it was a she—orcish servants fled out the back of the room and we gave chase. Knocking down a few statues and bashing a few holes in the walls, we managed to navigate our way across the room, stopping to reclaim the hammer—which we learned from our dwarven friends was named “Augdoom”, a relic of their god Aym, and namesake of their city. Beyond we found a room with five exits, and, rather than a horde of fleeing orcs, an in-rushing troop of dwarves, accompanied by our friend Ulfen.

Alpha and Erethon (Arithon, Erethon, whatever, I can’t spell) went back with the dwarves to salvage what they could of the treasure chamber before it was consumed by lava, while Horn-void, Ulfen, and I attempted to track where the orcs had fled to. Ulfen mentioned seeing something amiss near the cook-fires on his way in, and, searching there, we found a set of stairs leading to a higher-level of the city, slick with orc blood.

Up the stairs we found a pair of orcs, their throats ritually slashed and bled. Rushing past them we burst into an abandoned warehouse, piled high with bales of some fibrous stuff which Horn-void said was “riftwool”—apparently woven from the hairs of some giant insect. It tasted somewhat like coconut, if a bit rough on the tongue. I stuffed some of the riftwool in my bags for future examination—perhaps a pie crust…

…and rushed on. Down a long corridor and out onto a landing where we came to a long bridge, or rather a catwalk, across the rift, with a gondola for transporting mine carts suspended below it. Horn-void heard some sobbing and we found a pair of dwarven children hiding beneath the start of the bridge. The children told us of a great horde of orcs that had just come running by, apparently heading for their father’s bakery. Yes! A Bakery! Did you know that dwarves bake?!

I had heard enough and charged across the bridge, which was surprisingly sturdy, trying not to look at the precipitous two-hundred foot drop into a pit of molten rock on either side. At the end of the bridge we came to a long tunnel with obvious orcish boot-prints leading into it. Rushing along, the tunnel opened into a bustling dwarven marketplace.

[Bill interjects] “We were there…There were many steps and columns. It was most tranquil.”
[Kseen turns to slap Bill and Ted, then continues]

Seeing no signs of the orcs, we back-tracked a bit and found another set of stairs leading up into the bakery. The smell of bread was delicious, and did a good job of masking the smell of the dwarf blood which covered these steps, which I promptly slipped on.

Bursting heroically into the bakery, we found the bodies of the dwarven bakers stuffed into their own ovens. We helped ourselves to their belongings—vials of delicious, delicious Allspice and flasks of Absinthe—and began searching for the orcs. Hornvoid spotted the creatures through a grate in the floor, a half-level below us, exhausted from running and barricading themselves in so that they might rest. Looking around at the industrial baking supplies, I began wondering how many orcs I could fit in a single pie…

As Hornvoid and I pondered how to cook fourty-odd orcs, Ulfen spotted some Orcish Fell making their way across the bridge and began trying to pick them off with his bow. Combining our my knowledge of Cooking with Hornvoid’s skill at engineering, we constructed a massive flour-blower from a giant sifter and a bellows, which we used to spray flour into the chamber in which the orcs had locked themselves. We heard a shout of triumph from behind and turned to see Ulfen celebrating a masterful shot at one of the zombies…

A truly impressive shot indeed! We saw the arrow sail over the zombie’s heads, strike the far wall of the chasm, and cause a tremendous explosion, bringing an entire section of the dwarven city collapsing down into the chasm. The orc zombies, the bridge, and several blocks of the dwarven city were destroyed in mere moments. I could only smile thinking of the conflagration to follow…and of pie. I had, you see, laced the flour with Absinthe, which, strangely, tends to enhance all damaging effects on those under its influence.

Sadly the collapse of the city woke the orcs from their slumber before we were quite finished dispersing the flour. Great billowing clouds of blackness came up from the orc chamber, followed by the orcs themselves. Ulfen held the orcs off as another explosion rocked the area just beneath our feat. Hurting me quite badly, but finishing the dispersal of the flour.

Hornvoid and Ulfen ran, thinking me dead, and hid inside the great ovens. Ulfen pulled the doors shut behind them just as Hornvoid ignited the flour. The heat was unbelievable! The flames were so intense that the orcs didn’t even have time to scream. When the fireball dissipated, I found myself, amazingly, still breathing, lying on the floor, holding the hammer Augdoom aloft above me. The smell of char-broiled, breaded orc made my mouth water.

Hornvoid and Ulfen came out, ready to leave immediately, but I insisted that we sift through the rubble—rubble because the entire roof of the bakery had collapsed—for the body of the legate. We found her, or what was left of her, along with several of her possessions. Let me say, female svartalf, breaded, blackened, with a hint of absinthe and spark is the most delicious dish I have ever prepared. Sadly, I did not bring any to share, friend Anansi, so you’ll have to take my word, expert opinion that it is, on it. Oh, and her name was Arda…

So, after claiming the bounty on some orc heads and returning Augdoom to the Stalmer dwarves, we have returned here to report to you. I have many delicious new dishes to offer our troops, as well as this scroll-case, taken from the treasure vaults of the dwarven queen, which I can only hope has some piece of information that you may find useful. We should, however, at some point, return to help the dwarves rebuild…and perhaps smash that horribly shiny floor for them.

Now it is off to the kitchens for me and, I hope, a long rest for my friends.


Loot:

  • Flask of Allspice (grants +1 Strength for 24 hours) — claimed by Kseen
  • Amulet of Protection (+1 to AC and saves) — claimed by Hornvoid
  • +2 Scimitar of Locate Objects (casts locate object 1/day)
  • Potion of Luck (may choose the result, rather than rolling, of any one d20 roll within 1 hour after drinking)
  • 1 Multiplanar Mushroom (one-way trip to the Ethereal Plane…whatever that is) — Claimed by Kseen (for making an awesome stir-fry)
  • Robin Goodfellow’s Wand (83 charges, polymorph target, but only partially-can choose 1 body part to polymorph into that of another creature)
  • Lao Tzu’s Staff (1/day, permanently paralyze a struck target, can only be removed by a wish, will DC 20 negates) — Claimed by Hornvoid
  • 1560gp (Ulfen, Horn-Void, and Kseen are carrying 520 each, contact them if you need to buy something).
  • Barrel of Tubeworms
  • 50-lb bag of dwarven flour
  • Bale of Riftwool

Rewards:

  • Level 3
  • Access to the Steelblooded heroic path
  • Kseen is very hard to burn now…

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