Dead Gods

A Failed Raid and Subsequent Ambush

• As it turned out, Desthro’s new Karl knew less than the old one. Desthro claimed he needed to see to some personal stuff, while Fenris and Gullah decided to get hammered in the tavern for what they felt was some well earned relaxation and griping. Fenris drank and bemoaned what the world had come too when honest men trying to make a living were beset on all sides by demons and sorcery saying there was just no place for the little guy in the world anymore. Gullah couldn’t help noting that what this tavern really needed was a hot tub, and Fenris retorted that Gullah was the worst orc at being an orc he had ever met and that his women would be ashamed of him. Gullah replied that just because Fenris was sleeping with them all didn’t make them right. On that note, they decided a quick detour back to the hidden cave fortress of Gullah’s people might not be a bad idea. Finishing their drinks, Gullah then teleported himself and Fenris far off to the western continent across the Inner Sea where the remnants of his tribe were in hiding.

• While all this was going on, Fenix had decided to scout the orc positions based on what the new Karl had reported. It seemed there was a lightly guarded fort to the south, farther east along the Great Road, but like the former southern fort most of the clan was off in the distant southern Forest of Lethyr. Karl also reported there was another clan operating north of the great road along the southern border of the Rawlinswood to some unknown purpose. Fenix began by lightly scouting the southern fort finding it as reported and then he moved northward back over the Great Road making good time to the southern part of the Rawlinswood by nightfall. As he passed over the Great Road, he saw the burnt out remains of a small hamlet with no signs of survivors. Once he reached the forest he discovered a section of the forest that had been cleared back surrounding an ancient tower that from where he was in the air, drew his attention by glowing red-hot in the night. Approaching for a closer look, he spotted what he was certain were orcs in the forest around the towers clearing. Swiftly going invisible, he moved as close as he dared and observed the orcs. As he did he realized that they were not entering the tower area, but only holding positions around the tower keeping careful watch. Fenix decided to try and detect magic on the tower itself and discovered it was radiating powerful abjuration magic, strong enough to dissuade him from interfering with the tower. Deciding he had seen enough he returned to Telflamm finding the party gone.

• The following day the party re-gathered in Telflamm and listened to what Fenix had discovered. They decided to pick up the journey south of the Great Road and head out in the direction the Karl had indicated there was yet another holdfast originally named Mavalgard, (having decided to push past the burnt out ruins astride the Great Road and the nearby fort) moving eastward. As they neared the hold, the party debated whether to pass it by, or if it was worth attempting a raid. They decided to give it a shot, and the battle was swift but the heavily armored orc within the fort escaped before they could finish him vanishing to they knew not where. The party then retreated and decided to try and push eastward towards the ruins of Val Murthag which seemed to possess a special religious significance to the captured Karl’s. They crossed northward over the Great Road into the open plains moving eastward with Fenix still scouting up ahead impatient.

• Suddenly, after many hours traveling a Gate opened before the party with seven fel orcs rushing out, soon followed by several varied demons. Two were heavily armored, while the third wore studded leather and bore two massive armored claws over his hands. The other two bore great-axes coming out behind him and they in turn were followed by two more lightly armored orcs and one in heavier armor and panicked chaos ensued. Cromlack wasted no time intercepting the first orc through with the blade-fisted hands, while Fenris intercepted the heavily armored orc with a massive heavy great-axe. The two warlocks in the rear each began chanting spells and both Gullah and Desthro found it suddenly difficult to concentrate on their own casting. The two Karl’s tried to intercept the two orc reavers with axes that had come through, but the other armored orc who had previously escaped them at Mavalgard, that had come through first was now opening his own gate and a flaming balor soon joined the melee.

• Desthro pushed through the mental distraction attempting to dispel any defenses over the orc that had opened the second gate, while Gullah found himself struggling to save Cromlack from the blade-fisted orc who was tearing massive chunks of blood and flesh and his swift onslaught overpowering the blonde barbarian. Fenris fared better, but not by much. The balor arrived and his first act was to summon another of his own kind as most demons did. The Karl’s held out as long as they could but soon found themselves overrun by the remaining orcs and demons with no-one to save them. Desthro ignored their plight moving swiftly and began to hammer away at the orc who gated in the balor ruthlessly draining the life and vitality from him with black bolts of raw necromantic power even as Gullah was still forced onto the defensive struggling to keep Fenris and Cromlack alive.

• Unfortunately, the large blade-fisted orc proved too much for Cromlack even with Gullah’s healing and there he fell mauled and missing massive chunks of his own flesh and was soon joined by the Karl’s. The large swift leather orc wasted no time in moving on to Fenris who now found himself pinned between two orcs and a Balor, whilst the arrival of the second Balor gave Gullah his own problems leaving Fenris no choice but to use his often forgotten winged boots taking to the air followed by the Balor.

• Fenix returned from scouting to find the party already engaged. He attempted to assail one of the armored magic-using orcs that had opened the gate, but not only found his magic flung back on him, the orc responded with a powerful spell decimating Fenix’s spells and enchanted gear. Fenix was forced to respond with his most powerful magic, forcefully unraveling the magic that had been used aginst him, but at great personal cost. He was then forced to replenish his own defenses costing him valuable time from the battle leaving the magic-user for Desthro and instead turned to lowering the enemies numbers, by targeting those he deemed the weakest and likeliest to fall.

• The armored orc with the axe turned from Fenris and made straight for Desthro who wasted no time in now in mentally dominated the onrushing figure forcing him to turn back against his own companions allowing Desthro to return his attention to the magic-user, while the blade-fisted orc turned his attention to Gullah who responded like Fenris who was fending off the Balor’s attacks and air-walked above the battle in an attempt to avoid Cromlack’s fate. Desthro used his brief respite to finish what he started on the previous orc he had drained the energy from and managed in his one chance to implant a cyst into the orc to ensure he would not escape this time.

• The blade-fisted orc now moved onto Desthro, who realized after its first charge that this would not do at all. Frantic, he successfully enveloped the cysted orcs brain and then in a panic inflated himself like a calloused puffer fish in an attempt to survive the large raging orc next to him. Gullah attempted to banish the Balor pursuing him with no success, but both he and Fenris survived their demonic magic for the moment. From the still open previous gate now came yet more orcs forcing the party to make a decision as they still rued the absence of Fenix who might have turned the battle. The large orc menacing Desthro and tearing out massive chunks of calloused rotten flesh made up his mind and he quickly ordered his new Karl, and the dominated orc (who failed to resist his commands) to join him. As they did he teleported out before the blade-fisted orc had a chance to interrupt his spell. Gullah followed suit fleeing with Fenris.

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