Part 2 - IC - Far Underground Below, My Lad!

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deadDMwalking
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Part 2 - IC - Far Underground Below, My Lad!

Having secured the entrance to the dwarven fortress, the party quickly prepares for the arrival of an Orcish raiding party returning home. The prisoners have been returned (reluctantly) to their cells. The door has been secured and positions taken at arrow slits. Unknown dangers still lurk on the other side of the bridge. The raiders will arrive within 20 minutes.

Oogmach

Not being of much use until the orcs break in, Nasim will watch the rear as planned. No telling what other nastiness might choose to emerge from the depths at an inconvenient moment.

deadDMwalking
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Round 0

The orcs finally heave into view, clearly winded by their rapid ascent up the difficult path. The secret to the guard's lax approach is revealed by the approaching orc's blasting horn calls on sheep horn bugles. The moutain rings with the noise, echoing deep beyond your positions. Still, the orcs and their attendant ogres do not appear to be alarmed by the lack of a response from within the mountain fastness as they approach the ambush completely oblivous to the fact the party has waylaid the welcoming party.

http://s1219.photobucket.com/user/deaddmwalking/media/image001.png.html
Round 0 photo image001.png

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Round 0 Continued

Nivor watches silently through the arrow slit as a vanguard of orcs pass through. Then he sees a target worth consideration - an ogre accompanies them. He steps with it to the next arrow slit, silently fitting arrow to string, then releasing at point blank range. The feathered shaft blossoms from the creatures ear. It is a testament to ogres' stupidity that the arrow didn't penetrate the brain and kill it instantly - it's hard to hit a target that small.

Fash releases an eldritch blast from his point of concealment, passing over the head of the lead orcs and directly into the ogre's left eye. Once again, if the ogre had a larger brain it might have been a fatal shot; as is, the eye explodes pouring milky fluid down the dumb brute's face.

Humphrey finds that he can't find a good space for his summoning. Finally he adjusts to the first arrow slit and summons a pair of celestial badgers, appearing behind the second group of orcs and behind the second ogre at a natural choke-point.

The badgers tear into the sickened orcs closest to them. The first one guts the pair with his claws and the collapse, entrails spilling over the mountain trail. The second one misses with the deadly claws, but bites the orc's calf and tears a bloody chunk of flesh causing the orc to scream. Of course, none of his companions can see exactly what happened, as a thick cloud of smoke obscures the fight.

Nasim, watching the back hears an echoing growl. Somewhere, deeper in the complex, something is coming.

http://s1219.photobucket.com/user/deaddmwalking/media/MountainDoorRound0-1.jpg.html
MountDoorRound0-1.jpg

Status
Ogre 1 has taken 16 damage and has 13 hit points remaining
Orc 11 has taken 8 points of damage and is dying and sickened
Orc 12 has taken 8 points of damage and is dying and sickened
Orc 13 has taken 3 points of damage and has 2 hit points remaining and is sickened

deadDMwalking
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Round 1

Nasim continues his vigil at the bridge, his heart betraying his trepidation as he steels himself against the oncoming unknown threat.

The ogres, used to random acts of violence, respond with suprising alacrity given their bulk. The ogre beset by the two celestial badgers swings his club into one of them, rendering it into a furry sack full of celestial jelly. The other ogre swings his greatclub into the arrowslit by Nasim's head. The stone flakes and a cloud of debris rains down, but the dwarven carved wall remains sound. It might take the ogre a solid hour to pound through the masonry.

The orcs show a surprising militant comptency. The vanguard rushes forward, two of them trying to rip open the doors with no success. A pair of orcs crowd the arrow slits closest to the doors, javelins ready to attack anyone concealed within. Spying Fash, the two try to impale him, but the long shafts bounce against the edges of the arrow slit and clatter harmlessly to the ground at his feet.

The two orcs closest to the remaining Celestial Badger brave the choking smoke. One of them finds himself in excellent position directly behind the bager as it focuses on the Ogre. He squares a blow, bringing his falchion down on the animal's spine, bisecting it cleanly in two from neck to tail. The other surviving orcs from that group press against the middle arrow slit, but see no sign of an enemy as both Humphrey and Nivor occupy the arrow slits to either side.

Focused on the carnage outside, Humphrey observes "No no no Nivor! An ogre's skull is too thick and brain too small! They hardly use it, so you'll never bring one down by shooting it in the head! Hit it's heart, the beast will have fight in him as long as its blood keeps pumping."

"Who's trying to hit them in the head?!" Nivor retorts as he deftly nocks another arrow. Firing upon the same ogre he exclaims, "I'm going for the throat!"

True to his word, his second arrow passes above the thick leather collar that supports the thick furs the ogre wears as armor, and passes completely through the creature's neck. Nivor would bet that the giant can't breathe with an arrow obstructing his windpipe, but the ogre shows no signs of flagging.

http://s1219.photobucket.com/user/deaddmwalking/media/MountainDoorRound1.jpg.html
MountDoorRound1.jpg

Status
Ogre 1 has taken 25 damage and has 4 hit points remaining
Orc 11 has taken 9 points of damage and is dying and sickened
Orc 12 has taken 9 points of damage and is dying and sickened
Orc 13 has taken 3 points of damage and has 2 hit points remaining and is sickened
The arrow slit has taken 6 points of damage and has 84 hit points remaining

It is Fash's turn.

deadDMwalking
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Initiative
Fash 30
Nasim 28
Ogres 19
Orcs 16
Nivor 13
Humphrey -4

Round 2

Fash retreats from the angry orcs outside the arrowslit, joining Nasim as he backs away from the rope bridge, moving in to position to defend the gate if it should be breached. Even from this distance they can hear the echoing crash as the ogre nearest Nivor once against slams his greatclub into the reinforced masonry. This time lack of intelligence serves the party's purpose as he doesn't seem to realize that he won't break through in the little time remaining to him. He shifts over to allow his equally brutish companion to join him. His companion's angle is not as good, and the stone hardly chips under the blow.

The orcs, after their initial surprise, regroup away from the arrow slits. They seem to recognize that unless they find a way into the fortess they'll be slaughtered in front. Although they push back as far as they can, Humphrey still has line of sight on their front row. The half-dozen orcs around the gate continue prying at the door, but it budges not in the slightest.

http://s1219.photobucket.com/user/deaddmwalking/media/MountainDoorRound2.jpg.html
MountDoorRound2.jpg

Status
Ogre 1 has taken 25 damage and has 4 hit points remaining
Orc 11 has taken 10 points of damage and is dying and sickened
Orc 12 has taken 10 points of damage and is dying and sickened
Orc 13 has taken 3 points of damage and has 2 hit points remaining and is sickened
The arrow slit has taken 20 points of damage and has 70 hit points remaining

It is Lieutenant Nivor's turn.

deadDMwalking
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Round 2 (continued)

Offering no concern to the impending threat of his cover being broken through, Nivor draws back on his composite bow once and fires once more for the throat of his initial target. This time the Ogre tries to dodge the arrow, leaning his head back away from the shot. But he only succeeds in changing the trajectory from his throat to the bottom of his chin. The arrow's point thrusts from his skull like he's wearing a spiked helmet and then he collapses to the ground, dead.

[Map unchanged except Ogre 1 is dead]

Status
Ogre 1 has taken 39 damage and is dead
Orc 11 has taken 10 points of damage and is dying and sickened
Orc 12 has taken 10 points of damage and is dying and sickened
Orc 13 has taken 3 points of damage and has 2 hit points remaining and is sickened
The arrow slit has taken 20 points of damage and has 70 hit points remaining

It is Humphrey's turn.

deadDMwalking
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Round 2 (continued)

Humphrey hobbles away from Nivor, mumble something about poor dead badgers On his way, he chastises Nivor once again for hitting to high. "The heart, the heart. Go for the heart."

Status
Ogre 1 has taken 39 damage and is dead
Orc 11 has taken 10 points of damage and is dying and sickened
Orc 12 has taken 10 points of damage and is dying and sickened
Orc 13 has taken 3 points of damage and has 2 hit points remaining and is sickened
The arrow slit has taken 20 points of damage and has 70 hit points remaining

It is end of Round 2. It is Fash & Nasim's turn.

deadDMwalking
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Round 3

Fash stands next to Nasim and evaluates the door. He can't imagine it being forced in short order, and Nasim appears poised to make any enemy that tries to enter pay dearly for passage. Satisfied, he returns to the small adjoining chamber to peer out at the orcs.

They seem to be trying to evaluate whether they can climb through the arrow slit - it doesn't look like they can. Fash sees their hideous faces push against it, but their heads are too large to squeeze through.

Nasim continues to guard the door, sparing a glance backward over to the rope bridge. His caution proves warranted. Appearing on the far side of the bridge is another ogre. If Nasim had looked out and seen his fellows outside, he'd recognize immediately that this specimen is special. His hide armor leaves exposed his massive arms - thickly muscled and covered with tangles of bulging veins. His weapon, also appears different from that of his fellows. While they wield little more than uprooted trees, the ogre across the bridge is holding a greatclub apparently carved with loving care from dark wood. Silvery runes carved into the surface catch and refract the light, giving the illusion of crawling spiders. His beady red eyes fixate on Nasim from across the bridge. In thickly accented and somewhat halting common the impressive specimen of ogre-kind hollers, "You come without permission. I welcome you. I will show you great hospitality." The way he swings his club in time to the words is clear indication that his idea of hospitality would be better referred to as 'brutal murder', and the way he laughs at his observation confirms it. Nasim sees all this in a moment, and then realizes that the ogre is flanked by a pair of giant dogs...no, wolves. Then he realizes that's not right, either. They have dark gray fur, almost black and glowing red eyes. They don't look natural enough to be dire wolves... They can only be one thing - Worgs.

The ogre looks so powerfully muscled, he might be able to leap across the chasm with a running start, and worse, the bridge is still in condition to allow him to cross without much difficulty. The worgs look like they'll struggle more - the bridge isn't designed for four-legged creatures. But if they should get close to him, Nasim won't like the odds.

Status
Ogre 1 is dead
Orc 11 has taken 11 points of damage and is dying
Orc 12 has taken 11 points of damage and is dying
Orc 13 has taken 3 points of damage and has 2 hit points remaining and is sickened
The arrow slit has taken 25 points of damage and has 65 hit points remaining

deadDMwalking
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Round 3 (continued)

Nivor finally decides to heed Humphrey's mumbled advice and releases another arrow square at the ogre's chest. His aim is true, but the piled furs across the ogre's chest were designed to protect from just such a blow. The arrow lodges, but no blood spills forth indicating the armor ablated the attack.

"I'm pretty sure you're just making this stuff up as you go old man!"

Status
Ogre 1 is dead
Ogre 2 is unhurt
Orc 11 has taken 11 points of damage and is dying
Orc 12 has taken 11 points of damage and is dying
Orc 13 has taken 3 points of damage and has 2 hit points remaining and is sickened
The arrow slit has taken 25 points of damage and has 65 hit points remaining

deadDMwalking
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Round 3 (continued)

Humphrey wanders into the room with the main gate and immediately notices the hulking ogre on the far side of the bridge. He's able to see only because the light spell he cast earlier is still twinkling through the darkness.

Status
Ogre 1 is dead
Ogre 2 is unhurt
Orc 11 has taken 11 points of damage and is dying
Orc 12 has taken 11 points of damage and is dying
Orc 13 has taken 3 points of damage and has 2 hit points remaining and is sickened
The arrow slit has taken 25 points of damage and has 65 hit points remaining

deadDMwalking
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Round 4
Having returned to the arrowslit, Fash releases any arrow into one of the orcs poking around. The orc raises a meaty paw and takes the arrow through the hand. Flinching, he pulls it out and utters a gutteral string of curses. Fash is glad he doesn't understand orcish, but even without comprehension his face flushes against the verbal onslaught.

Nasim steps up to the bridge and slices through one of the thick hempen ropes that secures it to the near side. The coarse fibers part easily under the sharpened kama blade, leaving only two supports for the bridge.

The Ogre Chief ignores the suddenly precarious bridge and charges forward, throwing himself in the air. Hesails clear over the chasm, but lands precariously close to the edge. He teeters for a brief moment, then falls over backward into the depths. His scream echoes eerily and then abruptly shifts to an earth shattering groan as he slams into the ground below, apparently still alive and conscious. With his sudden departure from the battlefield, Nasim realizes that victory is now a foregone conclusion.

Outside, the stubborn ogre doesn't seem to recognize that his captain has just suffered a catastrophic defeat of his own making. He determinedly smashes again at the arrowslit protecting Lieutentant Nivor Silverleaf. If the masonry should fail, the orcs further down the trail could swarm inside. But even with the powerful blows of an ogre, Nivor calculates he has almost another full minute of relative safety.

The orcs closer to the gate appear to have heard their chief's desperate cry. They seem disheartened and all but one withdraw further back.

http://s1219.photobucket.com/user/deaddmwalking/media/MountainDoorRound4.jpg.html
MountDoorRound4.jpg

Status
Ogre 1 is dead
Ogre 2 is unhurt
Orc 5 has taken 2 damage and has 3 hit points remaining
Orc 11 has taken 11 points of damage and is dying
Orc 12 has taken 11 points of damage and is dying
Orc 13 has taken 3 points of damage and has 2 hit points remaining and is sickened
The arrow slit has taken 37 points of damage and has 53 hit points remaining

deadDMwalking
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Round 4 (continued)

Hearing the scream in the distance, Nivor calls back, "Everything ok back there?"

Not waiting for a response, the Lieutenant grabs another pointed object and draws it back, this time aiming for an eye. "Not sure why the hell I'm taking advice from an old wizard whose specialty is anything but killing ogres the old fashioned way," he mutters to himself as he lets the arrow fly. The lack of armor once again makes a difference. The arrow slashes into the right eye at a downward angle, and punches back out through the right cheek. Flecks of blood and spit ooze from the wound.

Humphrey stares where hte ogre falls, then hobbles to the edge with Nasim and comments, "Well, I don't think I've ever seen THAT before... "

Round 5
Fash watches the orc howling in pain outside the arrow slit. He releases another eldritch blast and is rewarded with blessed silence as the orc collapses.

Keeping one eye on the worgs in case they still have funny business in mind, Nasim leans a bit over the edge of the chasm, trying to get a glimpse of the ogre. The injured ogre is audible, but invisible due to the distance. The chasm is nearly 200' deep.

The worgs, for their part, seem nervous about trying to cross the bridge - but waiting for the party to pick them off with ranged weapons seems foolish, even for their relatively simple minds. They withdraw behind the doors that lead to the locked prisoners.

The ogre outside ignores the arrow in the face, and smashes the wall protecting Nivor once again. The stone is cracked and fractured - the ogre is making noticeable progress.

The orcs at the end of the trail begin climbing up the mountain face. You'd guess that there is another entrance somewhere that they plan on making use of.
http://s1219.photobucket.com/user/deaddmwalking/media/MountainDoorRound4.jpg.html
MountDoorRound5.jpg

Status
Ogre 1 is dead
Ogre 2 has taken 14 points of damage and has 15 hit points remaining
Orc 5 has taken 10 damage and is dying
Orc 11 has taken 12 points of damage and is dying
Orc 12 has taken 12 points of damage and is dying
Orc 13 has taken 3 points of damage and has 2 hit points remaining and is sickened
The arrow slit has taken 46 points of damage and has 44 hit points remaining

deadDMwalking
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Round 5 (continued)

Nivor once again draws an arrow and releases it at the ogre. It has hardly moved from its original position, so he has no trouble firing his second arrow through the same eye as the first. In testament to the creature's toughness, it still clings to life and the greatclub that it smashes into the wall again.

Humphrey continues standing at the edge of the chasm, the faint sounds of cursing in Giant floating up. He begins automatically working out the grammar and begins to formulate a rough idea of the ogre's words - but he can't even begin to comprehend how an ungreased great club would fit.

Round 6
Nasim nods with self-satisfaction as the worgs withdraw. In a low voice, so as not to be picked up by the worgs' no-doubt-superior hearing, he comments to Humphrey: "Well, that worked exactly as hoped. But perhaps we should consider trying to repair the bridge so we can cross again more easily. The prisoners should be fine as long as no one else with opposable thumbs comes by, but once the orcs are dealt with, best not to leave them too long."

Fash watches as the orcs split into two groups. The first begins scaling the cliff face while the other withdraws down the path. Perhaps there is another entrance somewhere nearby they could use to bypass the locked gate.

Status
Ogre 1 is dead
Ogre 2 has taken 27 points of damage and has 2 hit points remaining
Orc 5 has taken 10 damage and is dying
Orc 11 has taken 12 points of damage and is dying
Orc 12 has taken 12 points of damage and is dying
Orc 13 has taken 3 points of damage and has 2 hit points remaining and is sickened
The arrow slit has taken 46 points of damage and has 44 hit points remaining

It is the party's turn.

deadDMwalking
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Nivor continues his disciplined aiming and firing, and is rewarded by another feathered shaft blossoming from the ogre's head. The massive trauma from the steel-tipped arrows is finally enough to overwhelm its brute mentality. It collapses to the road below, leaving the space outside the dwarven fortress eerily silent.

Nivor slips away from the shooting corridor and rejoins his companions at the bridge.

It looks solid enough - it previously must have supported the bulk of an entire ogre - if the party travels across the bridge one at a time, Nasim believes it will hold.

Darker

Humphry, standing at the bridge, frowns at the obvious intention to move forward across. "Now, if we go forward, what about the prisoners we've rescued and since unrescued and put back?"

deadDMwalking
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Fash responds to the wizened cleric, "We should get them out of here, while the getting is good!" The whisper gnome moves carefully across the bridge - as the smallest member of the party he was least likely to break it, but he has shown that it is at least capable of holding his meager weight.