Othwic, Maud Balliol, Jarl The Lame, Hob The Bastard, Konrad, Alys and Baine
Current Date: May, 1012TR

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Chapter Nine: And Now The Orcs...

As Red collapsed in a heap from some form of blood poisoning, Wu Bao could hear the kobold shaman outside demanding they leave the "bitches and cubs alone and get out".

The decision was made to explore deeper into the dungeon and so Wu Bao, Gregor, Clodius and Jabo the hireling left Red temporarily and checked the next room, which turned out to be a randsacked, but otherwise empty, store room. Slightly concerned about what the shaman might do to them they then opened the next door and came across a half-dozen orcs sharpening their weapons and eating scraps of food.

It was impossible to tell who first cried: "Run away!", but it was a cry soon picked up by the rest of the party as they turned tail and fled back through the kobold lair - paying no heed to the feeble cries from their ailing colleague. The shaman's pet toad spat a glob of acid which burned Gregor slightly, but that didn't slow him down as the party made for the stairwell back up into the castle.

Instead of heading back onto the battlements - the way they had come in - the party decided to forge a path through the overgrown inner courtyard, heading for the tower across from the one they had just come out of.

They soon realised they weren't alone and "something" was moving with them in the tall, dead, damp grass.

Reaching the far tower, the party found a wooden ladder up to a small doorway. Clodius and Wu Bao made it up into the tower with no problem and Jabo had almost reached the tower when the simultaneously the ladder broke beneath him and he fell badly backwards into the courtyard - snapping his neck! - and the creature in the grass attacked Gregor, pulling him down and tearing at his legs.

From the tower, Wu Bao could see that the creature in the grass was a giant weasel... and it wasn't going to let go of Gregor! The canny dwarf could also see the half-dozen orcs following their path through the grass. Suddenly Clodius swung himself down to the courtyard on a rope and charged at the orcs.

Gregor's trained badger Billy tried to forced the weasel off his master, but to no avail. Clodius charged into the oncoming orcs like a madman, cutting one down before two closed on him and one drove his sword into the fighter's guts while the other scythed a blade into his neck.

In mere moments, Wu Bao realised both his colleagues had fallen and he decided the only course of action was to flee back to the village of Larm.

The Wu Bao who arrived in Larm was a broken dwarf, driven insane by the brutal killings of his fellow adventurers and the sudden realisation that he was alone on this alien world with no connection to the place from whence he had come.

The villagers did their best to tend to him, but he took to propping up the bar in the tavern and rambling about "hundreds of orcs" and "blood weasels".

A couple of weeks later a pair of fresh-faced fortune hunters, Sister FitzRovia and Bernard The Archer, arrived at the tavern - having been drawn to Larm by the tales of the mysterious White Rabbit Castle and the treasures rumoured to be squirrelled away in its vaults.

Their interest piqued by the ramblings of the dwarf Wu Bao - also the only person in the village who had actually been to the castle recently and survived - they coaxed him into leading them back there (with the hope of possibly retrieving Clodius' magical sword Wavecleaver).

Once in the outer courtyard, Bernard scouted up onto the battlements and spied a trio of orcs manning the inner gatehouse. He came up with a scheme for Sister FitzRovia to create a distraction, so he could get parallel with the inner gatehouse, while Wu Bao climbed another tower and pinned the orcs from a different angle.

The plan would have gone perfectly had Sister FitzRovia been more nimble in her distraction and not taken an orc crossbow bolt in the back of her leg for her troubles. The dwarf and the archer traded missiles with the embedded orcs for a good couple of minutes before the last pig-face fell and they could claim victory.

Unfortunately, FitzRovia was so badly injured, they realised their expedition would have to call it a day and head back to the village to get her patched up.

(picture from Lord Of The Green Dragons)

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