The Stone-Hearted

42-48 Sognathos, Pass of 3820: The Road to Darkness

Deeper n Down

Expedition Update.
Azgan Stoneheart.

I nearly died yesterday. My memories are clouded, but one moment I was fleeing ghouls on a rope over a cliff, the next I’m lying here in camp and a day has past.

I count myself lucky to be alive, certainly luckier than our companion Orlaf. Part of me wonders if the effects of the axe still linger in his mind, that he jumped at the opportunity to save us so I would allow him to wield it again. But I should be grateful, he gave his life to save ours, we will always owe him that.

With limited rations, we pressed on after but a day’s rest. The worth of our guide was immediately called into question after two days of wasted travel in wrong directions. Luckily we did not encounter any further combatants or monsters. Brodria eventually regained her confidence and we travelled fruitfully and uneventfully for several days before encountering a swarm of thousands of bats. Our fiery brands proved useful in dispersing the colony and their corpses provided a welcome change of diet for the night.

The following day we reached the mushroom forest that Brodria had spoken of. Our collective knowledge proved useful in avoiding the nastier varieties of fungus, Morodin’s Hammer! even the food crops will kill you down here. As we traversed the cavern we were set upon by a giant slug. Aeric, jumped in front of our king and copped a pool of acid to the torso which took him out of the fight early and despite inflicting multiple wounds on the creature, we were starting to worry. Seemingly out of nowhere a strange feral dwarf jumped out and assisted us in defeating the slug.

His ferocity was impressive, reminiscent of the Battle-Ragers I’d fought alongside in my youth. This fellow would not have passed muster with any sergeant I’d ever known, however. He was either a dimwit or being deliberately rude, refusing to name himself, his origin or his purpose. Somehow, he managed to negotiate a deal with us. We would help him slaughter an enclave of orcs in exchange for his guidance through the burning lands. Unsure of his trustworthiness I was reluctant to agree, but Ranina was keen to test her mettle against the orcs and Orlof surely would have wanted to help the first bleeding-heart we’d come across this week. Perhaps we owe it to him to act in a manner he would be proud of.

It didn’t take long to encounter the Orcs. We were ambushed on a rope bridge spanning an ominous lagoon. Wisely, I encouraged the newcomer to lead the way. At least we can be sure he isn’t in collusion with the orcs as he was struck with many of their arrows as he sprang their trap.

We madly began dashing across the bridge for the relative safety of the other side. The cowardly, clan-less, hobo-dwarf swung beneath the bridge leaving the rest of the party to bear the brunt of the attack. Using the superb gifted armour and the divine guidance of Dumathoin to aid my balance and defence I took the lead and headed across the bridge. As we crossed more orcs swung in on ropes attempting to knock us into the water below, but they didn’t slow me down. Brodria and Ranina followed close behind me cutting the swinging assailants down left and right.

Eventually I was close enough to see the ledge the orcs were standing on and softened it enough to dunk them into the pool below, where some unknown terror quickly finished them off. With a well placed divination, the largest orc was put to sleep and tipped into the drink, causing the remaining orcs to flee. Despite the ambush our party survived the onslaught relatively unscathed.



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