Week 22 - Trolls!

The party decided to stay at the Old Keep, while they sent the boat back to Horcroft for reinforcements. And soon these arrived in the form of Big Lonny, Nug and a couple of patrol groups from the The Marshals who will form an initial garrison for the Old Keep while the party continue their exploration of the surrounding area.

Once the new garrison was established the group set off to explore the land south of The Murque. Before long they came across troll tracks, it was difficult to tell much about them, although they were able to follow the tracks and found they lead up a path that went up the side of a steeped sided hill. They followed up a short way then tried scouting up the hill, but eventually decided to continue up the path. At the end of the path there were some well worked (but weathered) stone walls that appeared to be protecting an entrance into the hill.

They soon discovered there was a pair of trolls inside arguing with each other, and tried to get the jump on them. However Robert’s attempts at moving stealthily gave them away – and the fight was on. The trolls were shouting in there guttural language and laid into which ever party member came closest. And it wasn’t too long until reinforcement arrived - another two trolls and a strange beast that looked like a cross between a troll and a war dog!

Things were going badly for the party, and they were forced to withdraw out onto the ledge as they tried to recover. In a moment of genius (or possibly desperation) Rudy used a spell to create a greasy, slippery patch inside the door - and it worked. As one of the trolls tried to follow, he slipped over in the grease and blocked the doorway giving the party a chance to recover. And he had trouble getting up too. Cassandra was throwing fireballs into the room and using just about every other spell or effect she knew to make fire in the room and Rudy (or what appeared to be five Rudy’s) were holding the door. Eventually one of the trolls dragged his companion out of the doorway and managed to charge his way through, only to be cut down by the sheer weight of damage he was taking. Eventually the trolls were all destroyed, but Cassandra hade used up a lot of fire based spells in the process.

They discovered this first room served as an entrance hall for an old watch point. There was tower that was cut inside a rock stack perched atop the hill, that gave a clear view over the surrounding forests, and a small set of inner chambers that had, perhaps, served as a barracks. There appeared to be a mixture of ancient Dwarven runes, covered by scrawled graffiti in a number of different languages - perhaps this was the Dwarven outpost that The Narthropple Expedition has been searching for?

But there had been further excavations since the days when the dwarves lived here, and a crude tunnel lead further into the hillside. Following it carefully, they discovered a large natural chamber that contained a circle of severed humanoid heads – and their collector, a giant two headed troll. The heads growled comments to each other as they leapt into battle, first against Larran and then whoever else came within reach. It was inflicting huge damage on anyone it got its claws into and soon party members were retreating out of its reach to try and recover. However, they managed to bring it down, and Cassandra was able to finally destroy it with a Flaming Orb spell.

The rough tunnel leads further into the hill side and they know they haven’t met Hargulka, the troll leader yet …

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