Great-grandchild of the sister's gibbon's friend of the nephew of the Campaign that Would Not Die, now in 3.25e
Møøse Trained By: Hugh Foster

I Say, I Think These are Orcs!

West of Morvramorn, 12th September 2100, 19:30

Tzallis Regional Map - click it for larger image!

After a day's travel back towards the edge of the Hard, the party had located a suitable place to camp, set up a camp fire and pitched their tents. Despite a feeling that they had completed their mission, they carefully set watches and retired for the night.

West of Morvramorn, 13th September 2100, 05:07

It was nearing dawn when Baylock, Nazariel and Viggo were sitting their watch around the guttering fire. Nazariel, not perhaps the best choice in the world for guard duty, was deep in contemplation of the finity of life and pretty near oblivious to the outside world, but nonetheless it was she that that heard the sounds of stealthy movement to the east of the camp. With a thought, she woke the raven Spy who was dozing perched on her tent and sent him soaring eastwards to take a look.

Camp Fire

Around a hundred feet from the campsite, the bird's emotional state suddenly flicked from alert seeking to alarm, swiftly peaking to fright as he came tearing back, hotly pursued by a crude black arrow. A moment later, two shadowy figures slipped out of the darkness beyond her Darkvision and into cover behind rocks and trees. She murmured a few words to her companions, and Baylock rose and quietly stepped out of the circle of firelight into the dark, working sideways until he could see one of the humanoid figures crouched in the lee of a large bush. Quietly nocking an arrow, he let fly.

Orc Scout

A loud yell of pain and shock greeted the arrow's strike, and Baylock - who spoke the vile orctongue - picked out of the enormous number of swear-words the starement; "they know we're coming!". A moment later, a bolt of black energy from Nazariel ripped into the front of his head and he dropped in a clatter of bow and arrows.

DM Comment: Unfortunately, neither Zurran not anyone else made the fairly modest roll required to remember that orcs are Dazzled by a Daylight spell..

The noise had roused the others, and Talian dashed out of his tent at a flat run, out of the circle of firelight, and into cover behind the nearest rock to the right. Baggy went the other way, getting out of the firelight and turning to sweep the darkness to the east with her Detect Evil.  By the Grace of Bahamut, she was able to perceive dark auras coming into range, more and more of them. She coughed out a rather more prosaic oath. In the centre, Chambu had lifted a hand and called the Blessing of Bahamut down to aid him and his friends. Zurran, sword drawn but not raised, was staring at their opponents, eyes narrowed as he considered their nature.  He'd read some accounts by travellers in the region, and the ritual scarring these orcs displayed was not that of Arakhor - whence the rumoured quest for the Blue Knife was supposed to have come. These looked like orcs from Azghar - a much smaller orc-hold North of Morvramorn.

Umira - Orc Barbarian

Suddenly there was an leg-weakening scream as a huge orc - very clearly female - came charging out of the dark towards the party. Chambu was the closest and she bore down on him, frothing and cursing as she whirled an enormous spiked mace around her head. The dwarf could only raise his shield and hope; the blow battered down his defences and smashed into his armoured side, nearly knocking him down. He staggered, and felt his boot filling with blood. Baylock shot her with an arrow as she came to a stop, but this seemed only to aggravate her. With a rolling cry, the rest of the orc-band charged - more than a dozen heavy, muscular humanoids spread over a wide front. Talian blinked at their numbers. "Oh, stars! There's rather a lot of them," he commented, perhaps redundantly.

DM Comment: A Charge action, full damage rolled, plus Smite Evil - a devastating attack!

Chambu was by no means keen on slugging it out with the barbarian, and - while keeping his guard up - cast his Sanctuary spell to try and prevent her hitting him again. It didn't seem to work; the orc appeared to be too angry to notice it. Beside him, Nazariel belatedly realized that the wave of orcish attackers was only feet away from her. She snapped another Magic Missile into the closest one and backed off rapidly. As she did, Talian sprinted around his rock to come out behind the yelling, frothing, berserk orc, and struck from behind, cutting her across the shoulder - she was much less heavily armoured than the rest of the band. Baggy arrived a moment later, charging in with her greatsword to stab it right through the orc's abdomen, a terrible blow that rocked her backwards for the first time. Zurran arrived, his observations completed, and just as the barbarian was off-balance from Baggy's mighty strike, stabbed his own two-hander straight into her right eye. Twitching and thrashing, she dropped. Zurran looked up at the others. "I say, I think these are orcs," he commented brightly.


Apparently undeterred by the slaying of their champion, a wave of more normal-appearing orc warriors was rushing across the darkened grass towards the party. Two gathered around Baggy, and she whirled her sword, trying to fend off both at once. Baylock shot another down, then switched to sword and closed in to support his friend.

Aimo's tactics and play were well-chosen here, but Roll20 just wouldn't give him an even break; Attack rolls of 1,4,2,2,1,5,3 interspersed with nice high Initiatives...!

At the centre of the fight, Chambu siezed his moment to grant himself some of his god's healing before rejoining the fray. Just behind him, Nazariel sent a Magic Missile to afflict one of the two orcs pressing Baggy backwards. The paladin was having a tough time of it, despite the heavy wounds her foes had both suffered. She just couldn't seem to land a blow, and was at the point of giving herself up for lost. Her calls to her God had gone unanswered and her faith wavered; her arm drooped and she let her sword fall.

On the right, Talian was also hard pressed and wounded, though Zurran, miraculously unharmed and unstained, grinned as he beheaded an orc in a single strike. Then an orc got through the elf's guard, and Talian went down, blood welling from a mortal wound in his chest. Almost at the same moment, Viggo hit the grass, dying from a savage head wound. The smile slid off Zurran's face in an instant as he found himself alone in a sea of orcs. He stepped to straddle Talian's body, defending it from the horde with increasingly desperate strokes.


From the rear, Nazariel shook her head. "Ohhh, dear. Everyone's dead," she commented. Chambu shivered slightly; it wasn't immediately possible to tell from her tone if she thought that this was a good thing or a bad thing. Glancing across, he set off to help Zurran as Baylock and Zurran brought another orc each down. As he did so, though, the nerve of the four survivors broke, and they turned to flee, scattering into the darkness. Chambu cut one down as it fled, then turned to see if he could aid his comrades while Baylock pursued the escaping orcs, more to make sure they kept running and didn't bring reinforcements than for any desire to catch them.

He saw that Nazariel had already got a bandage around Talian's wound and largely stopped the bleeding, so he used his first healing spell on Viggo, pulling him out of danger and back to a weakened consciousness; a good thing, as Zurran's inept first aid had missed the exit wound underneath him and he'd still been bleeding.


Baylock returned, carrying armsful of plunder from the orcs; poor stuff, not of much value in the first place and less so in Tzallis, where orc-armour and weapons were not in demand. The light buckler the berserker-orc had been wearing, however, was confirmed to be magical, and Zurran took it.

Edge of the Hard, West of Morvramorn, 13th September 2100, 18:28


The solid ground to the east of the River Gallowglass slopes downwards as it transforms into the marsh edging the Trakar, and as the group reached the top of this and peered down, Talian and Nazariel were relieved to notice two boats about half a mile south of them with a thin dribble of smoke rising from them. Constable Roderic, no fool, had told the mudskipper boatmen that a portion of their pay depended on bringing back at least some of the party alive. As a result they had waited reasonably patiently, and had an evening meal of the fish for which their craft were named on the fire.

Hot food looked welcome; but mudskipper tastes like mud, largely.

Session Date: 22nd September 2020; in Cyberspace!
(Frodo's Birthday)