Moonday, 3rd Readying, CY 591 (Spring)
Hochtritt sends his resistance fighters on their first mission: to escort three children (Eric, Matthew and Rosie) to the Smugglers Cave, to be delivered to their contact, a smuggler called Morten. In exchange, they will be given a supply of weapons to be brought back to the safe-house.
The party (consisting of locals Corvin, Halmary and Senoj, and dwarf brothers Ungrid and Zarkov) sneak out of town under cover of night, easily avoiding the ogre patrols, and travel three hours through the moonlit night, to the cave. There they discover the corpse of Anders, one of the three smugglers they were to meet. He lies on the ground, arrows in his back (which Zarkov recognises as orc-arrows), a sword thrust to his gut. They immediately suspect trouble ahead, and keep the children back as Corvin scouts ahead, entering the cave. It is dark inside, but in the faint light coming from outside, the young thief stumbles upon the body of Jeppe, the second smuggler. He has been hacked to death. He reports this to the others, and all but Zarkov enter, lighting torches to see by; the dwarf craftpriest waits by the entrance, guarding the children.
The others head towards the storerooms, from where Ungrid hears movement. Suddenly, an orc looms up in the light; no, more than one, three orcs! Senoj and Corvin let loose arrows, injuring an orc, who shouts out to alert his allies. The orcs fire back, their own arrows bouncing off the walls and Ungrid’s banded armour. Both he and the cleric, Halmary, charge into the room and engage two of the orcs; the third seems to have vanished. Corvin and Senoj head back to the entrance, keeping an eye on the other tunnel as they know it links to the cave where the orcs are. As they do so, they hear a scream down another tunnel (they know that one leads to a dead-end), which is suddenly cut off. Zarkov, children in tow, decides to investigate.
Meanwhile, the dwarf vaultguard and the cleric are fighting a pair of orcs, when an orc champion comes out of the store rooms and engages Halmary. Ungrid takes out his orc with an axe to the head, and goes to help Hal. Elsewhere, Zarkov descends into the other tunnel, finding a dead orc. Before he goes any further, a giant spider pounces from above, narrowly missing. He swings his mace at it, scoring a hit, but little more than bruising it.
Back at the entrance, Corvin and Senoj spot the other orc down the tunnel and fire at it, and the explorer scores a direct hit, an arrow between the eyes that fells the orc. Ungrid kills his orc, and then helps Halmary against the champion, who manages to further wound the cleric. Zarkov backs away from the spider, telling the children to run back to the entrance, which they do. The spider follows and manages to bite the dwarf, but his hardy constitution resist the poison in its bite. He manages to get out of the tunnel, and the spider doesn’t follow, instead retreating into the darkness.
Halmary takes out the champion, crushing its skull. Ungrid heads up into the connecting tunnel, and spots another orc in hiding; he charges it. Halmary takes a moment to catch his breath, and heals his wounds with a divinely inspired lay on hands. Zarcov follows his brother, as does Senoj and Corvin. Ungrid wounds his orc, allowing the explorer to finish it off.
They spot the shipment of weapons, open and rummaged through, and approach it. From that tunnel (ends near the shrine and a dead-end tunnel), Senoj hears orc voices. Zarkov moves up to the crate, but an orc spots and shoots him, severing several fingers and knocking him down. Senoj drags his body out of view, and Halmary quickly tends to him, bringing him around and helping to bind his wounds.
Senoj calls out for the orcs to surrender. They reply with a threat to kill their captive, and shove Morten into view; the smuggler is alive, battered, and tied-up. They want to be allowed to leave the caves safely, or they will kill Morten. Senoj argues that if they kill him, then they are as good as dead. The orcs ignore his threat, surround their captive, and start moving up the tunnel.
End of Session
Kills: 6 orcs, 1 champion.
PCs ko’d: Zarkov (recovered, but lost a few fingers).
No loot as yet.