Session 4: Mysteries Beneath the Plague House
The heroes continue their investigations of the Plague House basement. Esderal examines the portcullis to the north, and finds a room that is out of reach, with the engraved sword of Forsoti etched into the floor of the room. The heroes decide to head west into the next chamber, where they find an urn repository filled with small vessels containing the remains of the dead.
The room also contains a statue of Forsoti’s raven messenger, Dygo. Esderal charges into the room to look more closely, but nearly steps into the transparent face of a gelatinous cube.
The cube lurches towards the heroes, looking to engulf and digest them. The heroes flee to the previous chamber, but Esderal is trapped between the portcullis and the gelatinous cube. The giant transparent ooze engulfs the rogue and paralyzes him as it begins to eat him alive. Arngeir tries to head around through the other corridor, but stumbles into a bear trap with an attached alarm.
Agandar then summons a fey mitflit to strike at the cube with Nyyrikki who swings his mighty sword at the ooze. Duke and Kiltro throws spells from across the room. The cube then lurches forward and dissolves the mitflit and engulfs Nyyrikki. Then the others are able to blast it with a few well-placed spells. It dissolves into a lifeless puddle.
The heroes patch up their wounds and revive Esderal before exploring the contents of the urn repository. Behind the raven statue, the heroes find a secret door. As they begin to sneak down the narrow corridor, they overhear a muffled voice calling out for help. They charge into the next chamber, which seems to have once been the furnace room of the old church. There is a male, blood-hair Noradrie teen tied up and gagged in the room. They release his bonds and he introduces himself as Othdan, the son of a local farmer.
The young boy explains that he was knocked out outside the Plague House a few couple ago by some half-orc he didn’t recognize. Over the past couple days he has heard the half-orc talk to someone else in the other room, but he didn’t understand the language they used. Arngeir offers the boy some food and water before he runs off to home.
The heroes explore the next chamber, finding holy texts of Forsoti on the bookshelf and numerous treasures and elixirs in the small chest. The heroes then enter the northern door where they find a number of bedrolls and a small campfire. The back end of the room has a opening that looks out to the sky above from the collapsed portion of the floor. It seems that this area was used sometime in the past week. There are also a number of statues devoted to heroic warriors of the Noradrie. On the north wall is a crude tunnel that looks like it has been carved out of the dirt and rock about 30 feet northward towards Bolvirk.
The heroes step into the tunnel to examine it, but soon are accosted by three strange giant rats. The beasts flesh is rotted and falling off their frail forms and the creatures turn incorporeal after the strike. The heroes have to use their cunning and tenacity to defeat the strange beasts. The heroes then find, beyond the rats, a small cave-in where a half-orc’s body is mostly buried. The cave-in seems to have been intentional to cover the body with rocks. Nyyrikki is able to easily extract the body with his strength and Arngeir determines that the corpse was actually killed by a sword wound in his back, before the cave-in and rats got to him. The heroes find a magical wand and some good splint mail armor on the body. They do not recognize the half-orc.
The heroes take the body back to town and speak with Kurst and Jagrin. They do not recognize the half-orc either, and Esderal make a good sketch of the man’s face. The heroes then head over to Brinya Kelver and return Rodrik’s real hopeknife. She is most grateful and asks them to keep her apprised of their investigation into Rodrik’s death. The heroes then head back to Horik’s house, but find that the merchant must have headed back to Jarnby. The heroes head to Rabus at the Killin’ Ground, but Rabus does not recognize the half-orc the found dead in the Plague House.
The heroes then decide to look at records of the town, to try and figure out why these half-orcs were digging underneath the town. They speak with Halgra Blackblades at the Ivory Hall, but learn that there are little records of the time before the Alliance’s wall fell. She suggests the speak with Silvermane to learn about the land’s history. On the way to the Hopespring, the heroes stop at the Longhouse to pick up a number of items and treasures found on the assassins from the previous night. The treasures include the famous Dueling Sword of Eneaia, an elven rapier that Esderal happily wields.
The heroes head over to the old druid and Agandar is able to speak to him. They learn little else other than there might be water-filled caves beneath Bolvirk, but unlikely any reason for someone to go search for them. Silvermane does point out that these likely were controlled by the orcs long before Bolvirk came into being. They speak of Agandar’s dream some more and the significance of the white swords. The heroes decide to explore these white swords by examining the graffiti around town. They try to see if they point to a specific location, but it does not seem so. Nyyrikki suggests that the graffiti might simply be a marking for someone.
With no other clues to go on, and night fallen upon the land, the heroes decide to head back to the Plague House. As they approach the building, they see the faint light of a blue flame in the old firepit. Esderal and Nyyrikki sneak around the north end as Kiltro leads the others through the darkness towards the firepit. As both groups reach the pit, they find that it is nearly gone out. However, they find evidence of two foot prints heading into the Plague Houses’s back door. One set is humanoid and booted, the other is a larger humanoid bare foot with clawed toes.
The heroes sneak down into the Plague House basement where they overhear two voices talking. Duke and Esderal make out the words, spoken in hushed Jotun, the language of Giants. The hear a half-orc speak about needing more time and a guttural voice say that time has run out and the plans must change. The heroes sneak around the corner and see a half-orc speaking with what must be a flood troll. Esderal recognizes the half-orc as Daktani, it is his former mentor, another street-thug who is often up to nefarious schemes. The two whispering conspirators overhear the heroes outside and prepare themselves.
Session 5: A Funeral Before Battle
The heroes charge around the corner of the damp stone in the darkness of the Plague House basement. Arngeir and Kiltro stair into the chamber where a half-orc and the flood troll have been exchanging hushed words in the tongue of the Jotun. Daktani charges in to strike at Nyyrikki, but is quickly knocked down. On the other side of the hall, Duke and Agandar throw powerful fire magic at the beast as Arngeir and Ali strike at the troll. Esderal moves from the other side and throws an alchemist’s fire upon the beast who quickly scorches and dies amid the flames.
The heroes then pull Daktani back into the main chamber and tend to his wounds to stabilize him. The wily half-orc evades most of their questions as he seems to feel outcast by the humans of Bolvirk. Eventually Kiltro is able to speak to him half-orc to half-orc and get the rogue to admit some of the things he knows. He tells them that he has been working for a half-orc named Skreed, a half-orc with tattoos all over his face. Skreed has been having Daktani sneak out to the Plague House at night to send and receive messages with the flood troll, who in turn sends messages to what Skreed only referred to as “the tribe”. Daktani tells the heroes that he knows an attack on Bolvirk is planned in the near future and orcs will overcome the town, but in the meantime Skreed and other half-orcs hidden in the town are searching for something.
The heroes knock out Daktani and haul him back into Bolvirk and take him to the Longhouse to lock him up. They then arrange a meeting with Jagrin, Helgra, and Kurst to discuss what they learned. Helgra does not like the idea of rounding up half-orcs in town, but agrees Arngeir and his friends should continue their investigation to find out what this attack may occur. Jagrin seems content with what they have found about Rodrik’s death and suggests that have the funeral for the former patrol captain the following night. The heroes try to do some information gathering that night, but learn little to help them discover the half-orcs infiltrators.
The next day (13th Rainfall, 692 G.R.) the heroes continue gathering what information they can, and only learn that the strange half-orcs seen around town haven’t been spotted recently, suggesting that they have been lying low. That evening the heroes head out to the funeral pyre and attend the funeral ceremony of Rodrik Grath. The Noradrie priestess Tyrari Varvatos leads the ceremony. There are many of his closest friends and relatives present and some of the other townsfolk. Kurst, Jagrin, Omast, and Arngeir give dedicated speeches to their comrade. Brinya then brings forth the hopeknife she had given to him and Tyrari throws it into the ceremonial fires, which blacken the blade. The blade is the cooled and return to Brinya.
With the end of the ceremony night had fallen and darkness covers Bolvirk. Then the sound of horns blaring in the distance roar and a giant boulder slams into one of the town’s guard towers, shattering it. Bolvirk is under siege. Chaos erupts around the town as townsfolk head to their militia duties or those unable to help head to the Longhouse for safety. Kurst approaches the heroes asks for help. He names Duke, Kiltro, and Agandar all deputy militiamen under Arngeir’s command. He asks them to head to the beacons and light them. With the darkness of night upon them, he knows that the militia will need all the light they can to fight off the orcs. Additionally, he asks the heroes to help as many people as they can on their way.
Arngeir leads his new squad towards the nearest beacon near the Commons amphitheater. When the heroes arrive, they find a mob has formed at the base of the beacon woodpile. It seems the minor priest, Baseil Sabask, has rallied a mob against the half-orcs in town, claiming they are to blame for the attack at hand. Brinya cowers under him as the mob screams and chants. Esderal and Arngeir charge in and Esderal slaps Baseil. This act, however, only causes the mob to erupt into violence. The heroes are beaten and hit by the mob as it expands outward. Nyyrikki manages to rescue Brinya and eventually the Nyyrikki is about to intimidate and calm the mob. Arngeir sends them to the Longhouse. In thanks, Brinya gives Nyyrikki the hopeknife from the funeral ceremony, she promises that Rodrik’s spirit will light the way.
The heroes then head to the Inner Quarter, passed the large portcullis. Inside, they find chaos and fires erupted as orc raiders have seemingly gained a foothold. The heroes light the nearby beacon. There is a small barricade held by a number of guards and medics from the Sanctuary. They ask the heroes to head into chaos and try and rescue as many people as they can and return them to the barricade.
The heroes charge inward and are immediately sidetracked by the screams of help. As the heroes head to Agrit and Sara’s house, they find a number of orcs have come forth between them. Esderal and Ali charge into the house as Nyyrikki holds off the orcs. The rogue finds the dwarf Agrit struggling to pull a massive beam off of her wife, Sara Morninghawk, who seems unconscious. The heroes quickly dispatch the orcs and Nyyrikki, Arngeir, and Esderal are able to pry the massive wooden beam from Sara. They bring the two to the barricade. Agrit is quite thankful and gifts the heroes a couple alchemical trinkets.
The heroes then head out again, finding the corpse of a Bolvirk militiaman named Maven dead near a well. The heroes then hear Rabus screaming for help at the Killin’ Ground. The heroes charge into the broken tavern where they find numerous human thugs from Westgate tearing the place apart, they are led by a female half-orc. The battle is quick and swift, since the thugs are mostly drunk off moonshine. During the fight, the half-orc sees Kiltro and mistakenly calls him Drukzerd, Kiltro’s father’s name. The half-orc is intrigued, such that after the heroes knock her out he brings the female half-orc, named Rishka, to the barricade for later questioning.
The heroes then head northward where they hear orcs rummaging the houses. Esderal and Nyyrikki sneak in with Ali following them. They see a number of orcs looting the houses, but one orc has grabbed a young woman and is ripping her clothes off as he heads towards a back room with her. The heroes charge into the fray and Arngeir charges straight into the room where he sees that it is his love, Katla, that is being taken. Agandar, Duke, and Kiltro take care of the orcs in the street and Esderal and Nyyrikki fell the orcs inside the house. Arngeir charges into the back room and fells the orc and rescues Katla. With the orcs defeated, Katla kisses Arngeir and rushes to the barricade, wishing him good luck.
With those orcs defeated, the heroes then hear a loud booming drum to the north. It seems the orcs have captured the watch tower and a giant war drum beats, echoing throughout the landscape, sending encouraging fury through the orcs as they continue their assault.
Session 6: Murder and Mayhem
The heroes charge towards the crumbled tower to the northeast. The battle of Bolvirk continues to rage on around them as fires, screams, and whistling projectiles paint the auditory scene. However, it is rhythmically punctuated by the resounding boom of the orcish war drum on top of the guard tower. As the heroes come around the corner of the house towards the tower, they see a number of orcs up on the battlements, hiding behind the crenelations, throwing down impaling javelins from on high.
The heroes duck for cover or rush into the tower, where they find more armed orcs ready to meet them in battle. A fight breaks out in the lower tower as the heroes charge in and fell the orcs below. The orcs on the tower’s top floor then begin throwing javelins down the hole where the ladder reaches to the heights. Arngeir bravely holds his shield above him as he climbs the ladder to the top. Meanwhile, Esderal and Nyyrikki head outside where they throw a grappling hook attatched to a rope and begin climbing the building. Esderal makes it half way as an orc appears and throws down javelins at him. Esderal eventually makes it to the top and the orc tries to shove him off, but slips and falls down the tower to his death. Arngeir also makes it to the top of the tower, as Kiltro and Duke throw spells at the javelin-throwing orcs at the top. Arngeir fells one at the top, but then sees a mighty orc, named Kargak Rolling-Thunder, who beats the war drum.
Kagak draws a mighty greataxe and beckons Arngeir to face him in combat. Esderal flips over the ledge as Nyyrikki climbs up behind him. Arngeir fells the other orc on the battlement and charges at Kagak, landing a heavy blow into the orc’s chest, but the orc only grins in defiance. Kiltro and Duke then reach the top as well and blast Kagak with spells, felling the orc skald.
From the top of the tall tower, the heroes see a great wave of orcs charging towards Bolvirk from the north, they also notice a giant shadowed humanoid of immense size with the wave of orcs. They then see a band of mounted guardsmen charge into the orcs, trying to hold them at bay. The horsemen seem to be led by Kurst. As the heroes watch the true battle begin, they hear another boulder slam into Inner Quarter not far from their tower. The boulder is wreathed in flames and ignite the small copse of trees along the road. The trees burst into flames.
The heroes then head back to the barricade and take treatment from the Sanctuary medics. They then head back out into the fray to look for more survivors. They wad in towards the burning trees, where they see a humanoid form leading a pack of angry dogs towards them.
The heroes charge in and quickly dispatch the orc beast-tamer and her pets. However, they find a body amid the burning carnage. Nyyrikki pulls the one-armed body of the smoke and flames. Arngeir immediately recognizes it as his brother, Svien. He says a quick prayer over his brother, but knows they have no time to mourn the dead.
The heroes then hear some shouting to the north, on the other side of the burning trees. Esderal recognizes one of the voices as his father, Bhirn. He rushes around the flames towards his home, the others follow the half-elf. As Esderal turns the corner, he sees a female half-orc holding a knife to Bhirn’s throat. She says, “You have owed me for the last time.” She then cuts his throat wide and blood runs down Bhirn’s neck.
The heroes charge in at the half-orc murderer and her two thugs. She tries to escape as the heroes take out her two human thugs from Westgate. She grabs a merchant who was hiding back in the alley and threatens to kill him. The man, named Aleril, cries out, “Please, no! Urnsul!” The heroes realize this half-orc is the same that was pretending to work at Clamor and may have been involved in Rodrik’s death.
The heroes chase after Urnsul as she flees, but soon find a group of orc looters in a nearby building. This quickly escalates into a great battle as Nyyrikki, Arngeir, and Agandar face off orcs in the north, and Esderal, Duke, and Kiltro facing off orcs in the south. Eventually Esderal and Kiltro are forced to pull back as orcs cut away at them. Duke is separated and hides in the billowing smoke.
Meanwhile, Nyyrikki cuts down orc looters with Ali’s help, as Arngeir fires crossbow bolts. However, an orcish sorcerer appears and begins blasting them with blasts of magical fire. Agandar joins the fray and the heroes are able to take out the sorcerer. However, Urnsul reappears from her hiding place, and cuts at Arngeir. The warpriest however uses a word of power to send the rogue fleeing into darkness again. Esderal chases after Urnsul to avenge his father, but he misses her in the darkness. She rushes out to attack him and he and Duke try to take her out, however, she manages to nearly kill Esderal and flees into the smoke.
The heroes fell the rest of the orcs as Esderal swears revenge for Urnsul. They gather together and grab the stolen treasures from the orcs, and Duke takes the sorcerer’s powerful staff. The heroes reflect on how this battle has not only begun, but on all that they must do to see any hope of victory…