The new adventuring band consisting of Ethrehil the elven ranger, Xane the human warlock, darvin the human rogue, Rin the elven monk, and Veil the tiefling cleric ran into a tip that the small town of Frond offered consistent adventuring work for new adventurers like themselves, being somewhat off the beaten trading routes and in constant need of problem solving. By the time they would arrive at the town to meet Father Jorn at the temple of Brigantia, they would see just how dire a situation the town was already facing. They found the temple of Brigantia burned to the ground and were soon waylaid by Orcs. The Orcs had underestimated the group, however, and were quickly dispatched. One even had a curiously well penned note:
“Gruumsh, factoring in our losses to the elf, we still number 44. In addition we have attracted the following of two ogres and three bugbears. We can make good on any threats you make to this pathetic village.”
The adventurers made for Frond to inform them of the dire news, but the town was completely inactive with everyone holed up inside. Only the sheriff, and elven warrior by the name of Alanis, dared walk the streets. She took the party to Father Jorn who was indeed safe: safe in the jail for drunk and disorderly conduct, an act he claimed must have been divinely inspired since it saved his life in the end.
The group soon visited the mayor who explained the current situation and his culpability. Orcs had recently become a nuisance and the mayor put out an offer of a reward, thinking a couple of poachers may be killed and the Orcs would learn their lesson. Unfortunately, a visiting elf took things way too far. This elf, Naloc, went out and killed around twenty five orcs, and then animated them as undead and marched them into town, demanding his reward money. The horrified townspeople had nearly no choice, even though this wiped out a significant portion of treasury. Father Jorn being the most offended, had sent word to the capital city of Keltan to request adventurers for hire to slay this necromancer, which brought the party to town.
This event also brought more orcs to town, however, as mayor Ganderson had greatly underestimated their numbers. They ironically wanted the same thing: Naloc the necromancer’s head on a platter, or else they would raze the village just as they had razed the temple of Brigantia. The group had just missed them.
Ganderson and Jorn both promised payment from their personal coffers, but Ethrehil had a better idea. He would track the orcs down and take care of them first. They were his hated enemy, after all. The tracks were fresh, and easy to follow until they led to a river. Dozens of tracks to the river, and then only a few going out. The ranger and rogue split from the group to stealthily track these footprints. These appeared to disappear as well after a while, but the group deduced that the orcs had climbed up into the tree canopies. Ethrehil climbed up to spot the orcs travelling by branch and limb, and then took action. At the same time, the rest of the group was attacked by hungry wolves. Both halves of the group made quick work of their foes, Darvin and Ethrehil taking a heavy assist from gravity, and then joined back together.
Tracking further through the trees, they found a bonafide treehouse with some orcs clearly inside. Their stealth failed them at this point, but not their arrows. The cabin was soon lit ablaze by those up top, while those below knocked orcs off of their balance before they could safely reach the forest floor. One did manage to get off a warning signal however, and soon a giant ogre and a clearly high ranking orc came rushing towards them. In an act of foolhardy bravery Ethrehil jumped off of his perch 50 feet off the ground and transferred his momentum into the point of his blade, sending the ogre reeling. The rest of the party acted quickly and threw everything they had at the ogre before it had a chance to fight back. The orc leader fought as well as he could, but was outnumbered and outmatched, and surrendered. He told them they would not be able to stop Gruumsh, their leader, and that they should just kill the elf necromancer. He would reveal nothing more and was killed.
The party disagreed with the analysis, but decided they may as well stop the necromancer anyway, and headed for the graveyard and crypt he was suspected of occupying. They found skeletons playing musical instruments and dancing, and decided to wait til morning just in case. They dispatched of these percussionists and moved into the crypt. Bypassing some wolves who were minding their own business, they ran through a hall of traps, successfully retrieving some poison darts along the way. Finally the rogue snuck ahead to see why he was hearing hoofbeats. He saw a giant dining room with a jousting fence in the middle, skeleton knights on skeleton horses and a skeleton with a wand and robe watching the whole thing. He picked up his jaw and went to discuss it with the rest.
to be continued…