Week 68 - Interlude.

Back at Port Slough, one of the scouts (a half-elf called Vort) reported that he had seen some large orcs in his area. They had been spotted going down a well on a mound. The armies were all assigned to military duties, so Lord Numesti decided to send a SWAT Team. So Helga, Duncan and Rosie got the job.

It was a bit of a trek out to the mound, by Vort led them easily. The first night he even found a campsite with someone to cook them dinner - the second night they had a turkey that Duncan shot, cooked by Rosie. The outsides were a bit burned, and some of the insides were still pink and needed to be left - but the little Halfling managed to produce something that was vaguely palatable.

Then onto the mound. The first obstacle was a Giant Stag Beetle that was foraging on top of the mound. While they tried to attack it with ranged weapons, the thing lumbered up in the air and flew towards them … It wasn’t really a tight battle - just a tough one. The beetle was soon beaten, but it took a toll on the party. Down the well and they realised it was a funeral mound. Duncan got caught in a pit trap, but he reacted quickly enough to break his fall. A cross-corridor led to two doors (one at each end) - one had raucous bar noises behind it, the second had quiet whispers. So they chose the quiet one.

That lead to a really tough fight with a couple of Orogs, who stretched the party to their limits. Without a timely spell from Vort, he was an adept in the church of Erastil, which killed one of the opponents it would have been much tougher. They found a trap door and decided to follow it down, rather than clear out the other room first. Down below, they encountered a huge spider, a shrine to the Wolf Spirit and a sealed door with two dead orcs outside. They realised the door was trapped and took steps to minimise the damage it would do, then opened the door. They fought half-a-dozen skeletons, and then the flying skull of a medusa. Its bite had a powerful paralysation poison, while the smaller snake skulls just had a normal attack.

In its tomb they found the headless remains, a magical dagger, a magical ring that helps with jumping – as well as coins and precious stones. Fortunately Vort had a wand of CLW – and he spent part of the battle standing behind the others, healing them as they needed it.

After that fight they spent a bit more time exploring the shrine next door - and Duncan poured some wine into the sacrificial bowl on the altar. As the wine was absorbed, some of his wounds healed – but he felt himself change. For one thing – his hands grew a bit hairier. However, he is still trying to work out what the other changes were.

Then it was back upstairs for the final room - half a dozen orcs dinking a rough ale, and half drunk. However, it was a long and difficult fight - with only Rosie and Vort standing at the end. Fortunately, the other two were only unconscious – and next day they were able to set off back to civilisation.

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