I am hurt, I know that. I lie here replaying the last few days over and over in my mind and one thing springs to the front of my mind.
Orlof should be watched.
It is the only conclusion a logical mind can draw while listening to him for any length of time. On arrival in the human town of Copperpot, a meagre and poor village whose inhabitants were shocked upon the arrival of a party of war clad dwarves.
We found the village beleaguered by on multiple sides by unknown enemies who hide in the forests and haunted ruins that surround this dishevelled place. Preliminary investigations suggest that their persecutors could well be the remnants of the goblin army that the armies of Dallorak broke higher in the mountains only weeks ago.
Upon hearing of their plight Orlof’s advice was that we move onwards with our quest leaving these people to suffer the mess that our people have possibly driven to their door. Not necessarily poor advice on its own but confusing and contradictory as my memories unfold.
Over ruling his dissent we decided to visit each of the farms who had suffered attack and see what could be elucidated as to the source of their troubles. Three main areas appeared to stand out for further investigation. The source of smoke coming from forest to the north across the river near where Barnett farm. These folk were raided twice in recent days first in their mountain pasture then again in the river pasture.
Tracks were found which can we followed into the forest with the scouting prowess of my lord’s sister, the caver Ranina. Finding a camp with 2 dozen goblins we paused to discuss our next option. It is here that Orlof’s truly untenable behaviour began. He argued that the enemies of our race should be given the rights and respect of the stoutest of dwarves. That these raiders who had recently attacked the nearby human settlement, which he would not have helped, should be negotiated with and asked to move along peacefully. Such a fool he is that he volunteered for the role of negotiator. There is no negotiation with goblins, they will always capitulate until they are in a position of strength and then they strike. They like their foul brethren the Orc must never be trusted.
We approached the camp, and Orlof went ahead as discussed. He began negotiating with the scum in the common tongue. His suggestion that they leave was rebuffed by the creature’s leader. So he then suggested we would escort these enemies through the villages they have raided to their companions situated in the abandoned Talbert farm. He is a fool and should not be humoured. The goblin leader rightfully scornful of this fool’s plan immediately began plotting in their own tongue to betray Orlof once they reached allies and had greater numbers. Exactly as I had told him they would. I could countenance his foolery no longer and slew the treacherous beast in once blow. This scattered the other goblins as we should have done to begin with and we were able to destroy their camp. They will no doubt continue to flee until they are far from dwarven lands now.
Following these events the farmsteaders were at least grateful and allowed us to use their meagre dwelling as shelter for the night. Orlof sulked into the evening like a whipped puppy, while he should be thankful. Thanks to the slaying of their leader all their young fled and still live. I am confused still, he did not want to help the humans who have been our allies in the past but would comfort and succour the enemies of our race.
The next day we travelled to investigate what manner of beast had attacked the nearby Lewin property. We found evidence of where the beast had attacked and followed it into some nearby barrow mounds. In the vicinity of the barrows we located evidence that the attacks were being perpetrated by a local bear. It was decided that the villagers were well equipped enough to cope with a wild animal and we pushed on to investigate the third area where attacks had originated. Following the tracks of a large creature past the Cooper farm and found that a cow was taken from the Ackerman farm. We began to follow some tracks toward the abandoned Priory ruins to the southeast of Copperpot. Judging from the tracks Ranina believes the beast to be a Warg. Intelligent wolf like allies of the goblin bands in the area.
En route to the ruins we found the savaged cow corpse and had an encounter with a huge beetle creature that spat acid towards us until we were able to circumvent the area.
Reaching the priory we beheld a huge ruined complex. A leering demon like visage appears to stare forth from the main building confirming our findings which revealed that the ruins were once the haunt of a community of human demon worshipers. The overgrown, mould filled pond and undergrowth overrun grounds did not daunt us as we pressed on to investigate. Ranina was able to follow the Warg tracks to double doors leading into the main building. We decided to investigate the only other significant building still standing. Through the doors we spied a 12 foot tall Granite statue similar to the demonic visage adorning the main doors. Dragor and Orlof wanted to retrieve the statues glowing red garnet eyes. We eventually agreed despite the grim warning of a set of desiccated remains of what we assumed were a previous group who had tried the same. The walls of the building were lined with armed skeletons which exuded an aura of menace according to the clerics who travel with us.
As we entered the room several of the skeletons sprung to life moving to attack us as though controlled by an invisible puppeteer. It was at this point that Azgan, the unsung hero of the day let forth some form of energy pulse, shouting to his god and causing the skeletons to collapse. Truly a sign of his divine favour.
Approaching the larger building we searched the barracks either side of a slimed entrance to the main building. Finding some giant rats in a room we entered and engaged the vermin. As the warriors engaged one foe Ranina ever the sharp eyed scout turned to find a pair of Wargs, not a solitary beast as we had imagined, stalking the party. Shouting warning Ranina and Orlof turned to combat the creatures. Ranina taking a savage blow in the opening seconds of combat leading to a frantic fight with the beasts.
I am sorely wounded from the fight and lie here, I may be dreaming but I will hold onto these memories until I awake. Orlof should be watched. I will remember that. What kind of a dwarf praises goblins and orcs but would not help a village being savaged by the remnants of once of their armies? A fool or a traitor. He will be watched.