Drama. Suspsense. More plot twists than you can shake a stick at. Session 18 brought loads of non-combat to the table after the party’s stellar defense of Cais. First up, an event in the city square which rounded up deserters and thieves in preparation for the Sea Lord’s punishment. While Usmok Ochretangle remained aboard the ship to revive his fallen giant eagle, Twizzix; Durdle Hulinforge, Tenroujima, and Vognar Grimbeard made their way to the square to witness the occasion.
Among those sentenced to be punished was a young, dwarven noble named Rogval Strongore. Strongore had been in Cais for quite some time, attempting to recruit mercenaries to join the Purple Legion, a group of nobles who fought against the revolutionaries in the Dwarven Kingdoms. Both Durdle and Vognar had taken time to talk to the man throughout their brief stay in the city – each with his own agenda – so it was with some surprise that Vognar recognized Strongore on the dais. Filled with confusion and curious for answers, Vognar brought up his concern to the Sea Lord… and then, before the gathered audience, cast some cleric hocus pocus before interrogating Strongore personally.
Strongore, as it turns out, had been framed for his crimes.
The man responsible? Durdle Hulinforge.
Strongore was exonerated, placed under the protection of Vognar. Shortly thereafter, Vognar offered to join The Purple Legion, and the two highborn dwarves made plans to depart from Cais.
Some time in the night, an alarm bell rung throughout the city, and the party was brought to the Sea Lord’s keep. Initial alarm had spread courtesy of a small ship that had been spotted approaching the port city; this had been feared to be the vanguard of a surprise naval assault by the orcs. However, the ship turned out to be a band of small goblins sent by Tyrant Caroshack the Neverdying. The tyrant sought to employ the city’s forces to trick the orc host and destroy it in a pincer assault, and he even sent along a token of his esteem – an uninjured Alfred Deyzac. After much deliberation, the Sea Lord agreed to the tyrant’s request and employed a plan to lure the orcs towards the city.
The orcs were foolish enough to take the bait of two open gates and charge the port city. They didn’t spot the skeletons awaiting them in the city or the archers hiding on the walls. Their unorganized assault was rebuffed, then crushed when the tyrant’s forces came up behind the orc host. The city of Cais was saved! …only to find itself being threatened by ogres and trolls instead of orcs.
Shortly thereafter, Caroshack the Neverdying came to the gate personally and offered an alliance to the Sea Lord; his forces would not harm Cais so long as they banished a creature named Ogrebane by dawn of the next day. The tyrant apparently believed that this Ogrebane was what saved the city from the orc siege, and he wanted the Sea Lord to exile it. Unfortunately for the party, none of them had ever heard of this creature, so they sought to follow various leads in the hope of learning more. It was at this point that Vognar parted ways with the group in a non-hostile manner, though he assumedly would never forget what Durdle had done…
Through inquiries, Durdle and Tenroujima learned that their best chance of fulfilling the tyrant’s task was to search the forest outside of Cais. While Alfred stayed behind to do his own research, the rogue and cleric parted the city and into the dangerous land beyond. They fought victoriously against scattered orc forces and soon after located their target: Thorak the Ineffable, Giantbane, Son of Isilid Caine; the Hunter of Orcs, the Slayer of Ogres, and the Terror of Trolls. After some diplomacy, he agreed to the party’s request, and he ended up joining them.
And that’s where the story continues: 7 Hematite 682, with Cais at their backs and rest of the world before them. What new mysteries and challenges await the group as they depart The Scar and head towards Chkathamore? Find out in the Session 19 Recap!