After a difficult struggle, they arouse victorious and after collecting the gold, and the dragon scales to be given as part of a bounty for Bazrak, they continued their way through the cavern and soon found themselves standing where The Falgern Mountains met The Swamps of Ruurg. The night-time was quickley approching and a fog was rolling over the swamp. They decided it best to stay the night within the cavern and set out the following morning.
Their rest was undisturbed and after a brief travel they found themselves at the town of Krusk. As soon as they were within close distance, the Orc guards immediately raised their arms, warding off the party. They said that the town of Krusk is currently shut off to all travelers. The party soon finds out that Marcaus has recently visited Krusk, and after an altercation that left several Orc villagers and guards dead, he was incarcerated. He broke out from prison just this morning, and after the Tribe Leader found out he ordered the village to be placed under lockdown.
The party informs the guards that they are here in search of the same man. That they have traveled from Istantia with the hopes of finding and capturing the man. After a brief discussion the guards decide to allow the party to have a viewing with the Tribe Leader, but that they must keep under cover about their presence in the village. Most of the villagers are still very rowd up by the whole experience with Marcaus and are likely to react aggresively at the sight of non-orcs within the village.
The group is escorted to the inn, and left there. The guard tells them that he will set up their meeting with the leader and return to fetch them when he is ready to see them. He again suggests that the group does not venture from within their quarters. They decide it best to take his advice and wait patiently in the room.
After several hours, the man returns and escrots them to the town hall. As they move through the village they notice that it is now quite desolate. All the stores have been shut down and there are no villagers walking in the streets. The guard finally stops in front of the large double doors that lead into the town hall. He informs the party it is not so easy to meet with the orc Tribe Leader. Their society is based on proving yourself in battle, and in order to see their leader, you must do just that, one-by-one.
Heinrich is quick to step forward, but he is squashed back just as quick. The guard tells him that they always wish to save the best for last. Urd is next to step forward. The guard opens the door and she enters in with T-I-Double-G-ER II following close behind.
The door slams behind her as as the roar of the orc villagers nearly deafens her. She is standing within a small collesium. The fighting area is surrounded by a large metal fence which seperates the crowd from the fighters. Straight ahead from the entrance is another set of double doors, with a balcony seating area for the leader directly above it. The doors soon opened and a half-orc equiped with breastplate and a battleaxe stepped into the arena.
The fight did not last long as T-I-Double-G-ER II soon had him pinned to the ground. Urd disarmed the half-orc, attempting to show mercy and end the fight early for the man. This proved foolish, she is a woman afterall, as the half-orc continued to fight with his bare hands. This proved to be worthless as the fight was called shortly after. Urd had earned her chance to meet with the leader. They escorted her to a seating area, directly behind the dividing fence.
Moultager was next to enter the arena. His fight was even breifer, as a continually barage of blows brought his opponent to his knees and the fight was brough to an end. He was escorted to his seat next to Urd, as the crowd roared in approvel of one of their own kind.
Edward was the next to enter, and his battle was anything but short. The Orc’s roared expecting to see the bard get destroyed, but he had several tricks up his sleeve. The half-orc delivered one powerful blow against him, before Edward cast Greater Invisibility. The half-orc continued to swing wildly, but was unable to detect the bard’s location. Casting another spell, the half-orc’s eardrums became extremely sensitive, making the roaring of the villagers all around him extremely painful.
To make matters worse, Edward began casting Shout causing the half-orc’s eardrums to feels as if they would burst. With a quick Greasing of the half-orc’s weapon, and a little humor through Tasha’a Hideous Laughter, the half-orc became unable to fight back when Edward finally decided to draw his weapon. The match was called shortly there after and the helpless half-orc was dragged out of the arena. Edward was escoprted to his seat as the orcs roared in their dissaproval of the bard’s fighting tactics.
The next to enter the arena was Kylin. An immediate barage of magic weakened his enemy, but it was easy to see that he could not go blow for blow with such a powerful enemy. Taking a move from the bard, he cast Tasha’s Hideous Laughter and left the half-orc rolling on the ground. Kylin beat the half-orc down with his staff and the half-orc was soon being dragged out of the arena. As Kylin made his way to his seat, he was met with a similar sense of distaste from the crowd; Although, he was more respected as he had fought bravely in the opening of the fight.
It was finally time for Heinrich to make his entrance. The crowd was silent as he walked in, his massive bastard swords held high in the air. A half-orc soldier, like all the others, stepped out from behind the double doors. He shook with fear as he readied to fight, but before another step was made a booming voice rang out from the balcony seating. “I believe this fight should be fair, don’t you?”
The crowd erupted in response to their leader. The War Chief, a full blooded orc leapt down from the balcony and landed in front of the half-orc, who quickly ran into the back. A patch covered the orc’s right eye, implying him to be a member of the powerful, Eye of the Grumesh Clan, which had been neaerly wiped out some years ago. The battle waged as the two Titans traded blow after blow, each one powerful enough to kill the average man. Things began looking bleak for Heinrich, but with one deadly strike he managed to bring the war chief to his knees. The fight was called and the crowd roared in approval, having not seen such a fight in quite some time.
They were escorted into the balcony office of the Tribe Leader, who introduced himself as Shump. The party quickly explained the situation with Marcaus and Shump listened attentively. When all had been said Shump told the party that he wished nothing more than to see Marcaus dead. Shump said that Marcaus had been interrogating people about the Lich King. When no answers were given too him he became violent. He tells them that if they wish to find the Lich King, searching the Lich King’s castle to the North would be their best mode of action. The party thanks him for his help and as they leave he says, “If you find him, bring me his head.”
The party rests for the night and shortly after wake they arrive at the Lich King’s castle. The castle is in ruins, in fact, the western tower has completely collapsed. Though the large door sits in front of them, Heinrich decides that this is as good a time as any to test his climbing abilities. Scaling the fallen tower he quickley lands within the building to find himself looking at a skeleton archer and two zombies.
The undead immediately swarm onto him as the other party members move to enter the building for his aid. The undead minions are easily dispatched and the group reassembles within the fallen tower. A large wooden door blocks them off from the rest of the castle. Heinrich, still crazy with his need to kill, shoulder checks the rotted door and blasts it into splinters. Antoher fight with the undead pursues, and is again easily fought off.
Rinse and repeat as the party clears out room after room of skelaton archers, zombies and ghosts. Throughout their searching they manage to find two large glowing orbs. Kylin detects that these orbs are linked somehow, and that they are being used to keep something closed shut. They decide to leave the orbs be for now and continue searching.
A third orb is found in a small room at the end of a short corridor, but they notice something odd about the walls and decide to take another route. The only problem is that the two other corridors seem to be trapped as well. To the left are large statues holding axes in front of them, and to the right there is an odd patch on the floor. Attempting to move forward, they use Moultager as a test subject for the main corridor, since he has the best reflexes amongst them.
As soon as he steps between the walls, they snap shut nearly crushing him. They then slowly release until they lock back into position. They notice that it is activated by the floor plates, but since the corridor is 20 ft long they decide that leaping over the area is not possible for all party members, so they will have to take one of the other paths.
Urd then gets the idea that instead of using themselves to test the other traps he can instead use his animal friends. Summoning several wolfs, he has one make it’s way past the larger statues. As it walks past the statues release the axes which come down hard to the castle floor, then recoil back to strike again. It manages to avoid the first two, but is soon chopped and killed by the third axe. From the best they can tell, the axes are motion activated by anything that goes by.
Still not satisfied by either of these options, Urd sends another wolf down the other corridor. As was expected the second it steps, onto the odd looking stones, the floor retracts and the wolf is dropped down into a 10 ft deep pit of spikes killing it instantly. The pit is only 10 ft across, so the party finds this to be the easiest path to take; Although, some still manage to not make the jump.
Heinrich, continuing to be headstrong and cause problems, pushes his way through the door at the end of the hall. He is met by two ghosts who come out from the walls and strike him from either side. They manage to yet again win the battle, but the party has taken a significant beating, mainly Heinrich, due to the draining of the ghosts. Fighting their better judgement, they regroup into the hall where Heinrich fought the ghosts, board up the doors on either end, and rest for the night.