Characters: Gwenn, Nagrin Anselmar, P'lar Chaedin, Pietra Handy, Savali Guran
The party spends the day resting, resupplying and planning their next actions. They are also paid 50GP each by the town guard for determining the fate of the Geldall delegation and retrieving the signed alliance document.
The party asks Gar for a map of how to get to his tribe. After half a day of travel, they camp. Before midnight, the party hears wolf howls and readies themselves for an attack. Sure enough, the party is soon attacked by 6 wolves. Between their experience working as a team and their individual growth as adventurers, the party soon overcomes the wolves.
The next morning, the party continues up the road to the cave they explored. Taking a quick detour, they check that nobody has started the blue liquid machine again. The cave seems untouched since their last visit so the continue their journey to Gar's tribe.
In the late afternoon, they get their first sight of the mountain peak that the road is leading toward and the old fortress that guards the pass. Gar directs the party off the road toward his tribe's location. After a few minutes of walking through the scrub forest, the party hears some sounds ahead and notices two large creatures heading their way. They ready for battle as the two ogres see them and charge forward.
The party concentrates their attack on the first ogre and soon has that ogre down. They then turn their attention to the remaining ogre. After a few more minutes of battle, the second ogre is defeated. The party finds nothing of value on the ogres.
The party continued their journey to Gar's tribe who lived in a large cave that has been expanded by Gar's tribe into a warren of passageways and chambers. The tribe contains about 120 dwarves. There were 25 adult men, 35 women and maybe 40 children. The rest of the dwarves are elders.
That evening, the dwarves gather in the common room and there is a feast in honor the party's rescue of their leader, Gar. Gar recounts his odyssey in Dwarvish to his tribe. As the story nears the end, the story concerns the party's actions and the other dwarves catch glimpses of the party. At the end, all toast the party for their bravery.
After a good night sleep, the party plus 3 dwarves (Gar, Teg, and Gon) leave to journey to Jed's tribe on the other side of the mountain. The party travels all day and spends an uneventful night under a rock overhang.
The next evening, as the party is getting ready for bed, they are attacked by a group of orcs coming from all directions. These orcs seem better armed with 2 having bellybows and 2 have flaming grenades that they toss at the party. After a long and furious battle where Gar is knocked out and several folks get hit by the flaming grenades, the party prevails and defeats the orcs.
Party discovered 150GPs and a scrap of parchment that has a crude map on it. The map shows three peaks and what looks like a cave. There is a arrow pointing at the cave and a couple strange words in an unknown language. P'lar casts a Comprehend Languages ritual and determines that the words are in Orcish and roughly translates to "perfect weapon to use on dwarves".
The next morning the party takes a detour to the location shown on the map. Leaving at sunup, they arrive at the cave in the cool of the morning before the sun has reached the valley contain the cave. A cool mist still hangs around the cave as the party approaches the cave to check out this weapon.
Pietra sneaks into the cave and notices that the cave extends into the hill through an oddly constructed tunnel. Asking the dwarves about it, they say that it does not look natural but does not look dwarf, human, or orc made. Gar says something in dwarvish and Gon laughs and says "children's tale" in Calabini.
When ask about what Gar said, Gon says that there is a children's tale about monsters used to scare dwarf children. These monsters whose children eat rock that the adults that eat dwarves. He assures the party that is just a story used by parents to keep their children from wondering off into the caves and getting lost. Savali says that dwarves are a children's tale to humans!
After exploring the narrow tunnel, they find that it opens out into a larger cavern with oddly shaped walls and ceilings. While exploring the cave, they are attacked by several sizes of insect like monsters which Nagrin recognizes as Kruthiks.
The kruthiks put up a strong battle wounding Gar and Teg along with several of the party members. The party prevails and the kruthiks are defeated. Examining the debris pile in the back of the cave, the party finds a set of bracers and a nice set of chain long with 500GP in coins and gems.
The party travels on to Jed's cave which they reach around sundown. There is a feast in their honor and where Gar tells his story and Jed tells the party a long tale about the recent battle involving an army of metal men. (see The Terrible Night write-up). Jar also tells the party that he has seen some orcs felling trees and constructing a catapult near a large cave just to the north of the road. The party decides to visit the cave the same night they arrived at Jed's cave. Gar decides to stay behind because he is not feeling well.
The party plus Jed travels to the area where Jed saw the catapult. It takes the party about 2 hours to get to the cave. They find the cave but the catapult is not there. They do hear a few voices coming from the cave but they cannot understand the voices but recognize it as orcish. Moving away from the cave so they won't hear, P'lar casts her Comprehend Languages ritual while concentrating on the words she heard. Returning to the cave, she overhears the orcs.
"How long before they get back?"
"At least a few hours. I bet they are eating manflesh, those maggots."
"Why did we have to stay to guard while the others get to go hunting?"
"Who knows. All I know is that it won't be long before we can wake the others and get some sleep."
The party attempts to sneak up to the cave mouth and try and draw the orcs out but not have them wake their fellows. However, Nagrin steps on a twig and they hear.
"What was that!"
"Don't know. Let's check it out"
"Look. Get him!"
The orcs rush out to attack Nagrin and are ambushed by the other party members. However, the noise wakes the other orcs who soon join the battle. After some fancy footwork and clever feints, the party ends up surrounding the orcs and finishing them off. Examining the cave, they find not one but six catapults and 30 pint sized class jars of blue liquid.
It is after midnight by the time the party finishes the battle and explores the cave. Behind the main cave there is a passageway that leads back into a complex like the party encountered before. This complex is still under construction and is currently unoccupied. After verifying that the complex is empty, the party decides to wait in the cave for the hunting party to return and ambush them. They have the dwarves sit in plain view inside the outer cave with the rest of the party hiding beside the entranceway. After a few hours, the party hears the sound of orcs returning.
As expected, the orcs upon seeing the dwarves charge in and are caught unaware by the rest of the party. This group of orcs consists of a Eye of Gruumsh, warriors, bombardiers and bolt throwers who put up a furious battle before they are defeated.
The party decides to destroy the cave complex using one of the blue liquid flasks. They tie a long string on a flask that they sit on a ledge. Well outside the cave, they yank on the string casing the flask to fall. The result is a savage explosion and the resulting cave-in.
After resting the remainder of the night, the party returns to Jed's cave. Upon reaching the cave, they learn that Gar and Teg are not doing well. They seem to have contracted some disease from the kruthiks when they were wounded in the battle. Jed is worried that Gar and Teg might die if not treated. The party decides to quickly get Gar and Teg back to Ragnar so that B'jan can cure them.
Leaving in the afternoon, the party travels until after sunset before stopping. Having the dwarves ride the horse allows the party to move very quickly. P'lar and Savali tend to the dwarves to keep them from declining further into the disease's grip.
After a quick night, the party strikes out before the sun fully rises. Traveling hard, the party travels another full day and camps for the evening.
Late in the day they arrive in Ragnar and take the dwarves directly to B'jan. B'jan able to perform the cure disease ritual on both dwarves and restores them to health. He suggests that they dwarves rest for at least a day since the disease took a lot out of them.
The party spends the day resting and resupplying.
Deciding to avoid camping at the place where they were attacked by wolves several times, the party leaves town early and camps in a different place.
Midday the party arrives at Gar's cave and again is honored by a feast. They spend the night with plans to destroy the kruthiks cave.
Traveling over the mountain, the party reaches the kruthik cave just as the sun sets. To make sure they fully eliminate the threat, they decide to use 3 flaks of the blue liquid. Using the long string again, carefully enter the cave to set up the explosion. There are signs of life in the cave to the kruthiks have not been fully eliminated with the prior battle. They quickly set up the flaks and get out of the cave. Pulling the string, the resulting explosion is incredible. They can feel the wind rush out of the cave as the roof collapses and the sound echoes off the nearby mountains and all wildlife in the area rush away. Camping near the cave, the party sets their watches and settles down for the evening.
Early in the first watch, Gwen hears the sound of approaching creatures. She wakes the party and moves toward the sound and discovers an ogre savage and three orc raiders. The party rushes into the fight and with a combination of mobility, tactics, striking and well placed healing, the ogre and orcs are defeated. Searching the bodies, they find some gold and a magical handaxe that one of the orc raiders was throwing at the party. Nagrin thinks he can use the new handaxe as his off-hand weapon while giving him a ranged weapon.
The next morning the party begins their journey directly back to Ragnar.
They arrive late in the day back in Ragnar having dealt with all of the known threats.
Sitting around in the pub, the party notices that Gwen's battleaxe is glowing and flashing in a rhythmic pattern. Examining the other magic items the notice that everything magical is flashing in the same pattern. B'jan rushes in to the pub telling the party that the blue liquid is glowing so brightly it is almost blinding!
After almost 2 full days, the magic items stop flashing. The party has no clue what caused the glowing.
In the afternoon, a party from Jasper arrives in Ragnar and seeks out B'jan. They have a note from the Jasper government formally requesting aid. It seems that orcs are also raiding Jasper and the desert road to the north. There was also an incident involving a delegation from Dorn and Jasper is worried the Dorn government might cause them problems in the future. The Jasper council would like a Geldall military presence in Jasper just in case. Given that B'jan does not have enough troops to send to Jasper, he asks is the party would be willing to serve in that role until he can request reinforcements from Geldall. The party agrees and prepares to travel to Jasper.
After a day for gathering supplies and settling affairs in Ragnar for an extended absence, the two parties leave Ragnar for Jasper.
Late in the day, the two parties arrive in Jasper. The party meets with the head of the guard Pablo and learns that there has been a disturbance at the closed mine outside of town. It looks like someone has opened a passage down into the mine in which the metal army were dumped. Pablo climbed down into the mine and determined that the metal men seem to still be in place but it does look like someone has moved them around. It appears like someone was searching for something. Pablo has no idea who is responsible for the disturbance or what they were searching for.