Ptolus: City by the Spire

Orcs? That's a Lot of Orcs!

With a wave of his hand, Stavislav placed the orc guards in a deep sleep. At Gideon’s nod, Ian hastily placed the long wooden plank to span across the sewage canal and scampered across. The rogue quietly ran up to the sleeping orcs, ending each of their lives with a quick flick of his short sword.

To his side was a narrow earthen tunnel, barely noticeable from the opposite side of the channel, where the rest of the party stood guard, arrows drawn. Ian heard the rhythmic breathing and occasional snores of more orcs, obviously also affected by Stavislav’s potent spell. Ian glanced once at the party then entered the tunnel, intent to kill the rest of the sleeping orcs.

As Ian disappeared, Gideon and Maur, followed by the rest of the party, hastily crossed the wooden plank to follow Ian. They followed a trail of dead orcs until arriving in a large earthen chamber. Ian was just finishing off the fifth orc in this room, when they all heard a large creature lumbering towards them from yet another tunnel the trailed off into the darkness.

Hiding among the bodies, they escaped the initial notice of an ogre that emerged from the darkened tunnel. It was short for an ogre, standing only about eight feet tall, but was stoutly built. A massive war club was gripped in it’s hand, drug down the hall behind it. It called out to the orcs, obviously berating them for falling asleep while on watch.

The ogre prodded one of the orcs with it’s war club, suddenly seeing the blood pouring from it’s slashed throat. As dim-witted as ogres are, it took a moment for the hulking creature to realize what he was seeing. It was at this moment the party struck.

It took numerous blows to fell the brutish ogre. Before it ogre fell, though, it managed to howled out an alarm, alerting the rest of the orcs in the area. Wave after wave of orcish guards rushed down the tunnel to be felled by the party. In the tight confines of the tunnels, several members of the party fell back to the ledge at the sewer channel to make sure the orcs did not surround or flank the party.

This strategy paid off as a large force of orcs soon erupted down the main tunnel, only to meet Ronas’ arrows and Feruch’s blade. Again, wave after wave of orcs assaulted both groups of the party, only to be forced back with heavy losses.

Maur, Brynnan, Bel and Gideon held the orcs in the large chamber, while Feruch, Ian, and Ronas held the orcs on the sewer ledge. Stavislav and Uetha stood in the tunnel between the two battle lines, offering their spells in support of the two groups.

With bodies of dead orcs quickly piling up, Gideon decided to rush forward. Maur called out for him to not break ranks and hold the line, but Gideon charged down the tunnel. He emerged in another chamber, finding about two dozen female orcs preparing to assault the party in a third wave. Another ogre shoved several of them out of the way, charging forward. Gideon turned and ran back towards Maur to rejoin the line – the ogre and orc women fast at his heels.

As Feruch cut a path through the orcs assaulting his position, he pressed forward, felling one of the humanoids with almost every swing of his sword. An ogre charged towards him, only to be pelted with a hail of arrows, darts and spells, quickly killing it.

The female orcs and ogre eventually proved no match for Maur’s dwarven tunnel tactics. Soon the tunnel was littered with bodies. As the party cautiously advanced, the orc Chieftain and his bodyguard of four heavily armored orcish guards presented himself. Much taunting was cast back and forth as the orcish guards formed a line to halt the party’s advance.

A pair of the orcish guards grabbed a large brazier of smoking coals to smoke the party out of the tunnels. Maur quickly fired his shortbow at one of the guards, catching him in the hip. The orc staggered over, dropping the coals, filling a large part of his own chamber with the stinging hot coals. Maur held his position, confident that the advancing orcs would be bottlenecked should they charge his position. The orcs, likewise, held their position, refusing to give the dwarf such an advantage.

With a fourth ogre and another wave of orcs rushing towards Feruch and his group, Gideon saw fit to reroute and back up the party’s flank. The paladin had pushed the orc forces back, but had suffered many wounds in the process. Gideon knew that if the paladin faltered, the whole flank could be lost.

As Gideon arrived, Feruch chopped down yet another orc. At this point the passage split. One passage appeared to be a rear entrance into the orc lair, potentially allowing the party to attack the Chieftain from the rear. Beforethe purpose of the second passage could be determined, however, another group of orcs rushed towards them. Gideon charged forward to face the orcs, while Feruch broke off his attack to investigate the other tunnel.

As this wave fought desperately to push past Gideon, a third force of orcs appeared on the opposite side of the sewage channel. They were intent upon taking out Ian, Ronas and Uetha, who had greatly aided Feruch in forcing back the orcish flank attack. At that moment, though, Stavislav emerged from the tunnels to cast another sleep spell. This third flank of orcs collapsed as one through the power of his magics.

To the south, Gideon was surrounded by orcs, slashing at him with their crude swords and hand axes. A third time, Stavislav called upon his magics casuing an arcane sleep to overtake the orcish fighters.

Ian again crossed the sewage channel to kill orcs placed under Stavislav’s magical sleep. Gideon waded amongst the sleeping orcs near him, cracking the skulls of his prone adversaries.

Meanwhile, Maur sought to end the stalemate on his side of the battle. He chopped off the head of a nearby female orc and tossed it down the tunnel towards the Chieftain. The head landed near one of the Chieftain’s guards, inciting such a fury that the orcish leader howled out, demanding Maur’s head in retribution. The battle was rejoined as the Chieftain’s bodyguards surged forward.

Feruch heard the bellowed orders of the Chieftain ahead of him in the tunnel, confirming that this passage would allow the party to make a pinch attack against the orc Chieftain. Before he could organize such an attack, however, another wave of orcs rushed through the tunnel, sending Feruch back into the midst of battle.

With prayers to Lothian on his lips, Feruch pressed the attack, felling several more orcs as he pushed them back down the tunnel, away form reinforcing their Chieftain.

Gidoen, after killing the last of the sleeping orcs, ran down the hall they had funneled through, only to see a fifth ogre looming before him. As he engaged the beast, an orc emerged from a side tunnel, hastily followed by Feruch. The orc dodged a swing of the ogres club, fleeing the area. Together, Feruch and Gideon engaged the ogre, quickly dispatching it.

Ian, Ronas (now drawing his short sword), Stavislav and Uetha rushed into the tunnel that led to the rear of the Chieftain’s chambers, preparing for the final assault on him and his defenders.

Maur, Bel and Brynnan repelled the rage-filled and poorly coordinated attack by the orcish bodyguards. As the third one fell, sending the fourth and final one fleeing back to his Chieftain, Maur and the others charged forward.

The Chieftain stood in a corner of the room, three females and one bodyguard at his side. The whole of the party charged in at once, quickly felling the Chieftain and his remaining guards.

Gideon, meanwhile, pursued the fleeing orc, finding a pair of the humanoids trying to quickly climb down a large iron ladder that descended deeper into the dungeon. Oee orc turned to face him, only to almost instantly fall to Gideon’s pummeling quarterstaff. A swift crack to the head and shoulders of the remaining orc caused it to lose its hold on the ladder rungs. He fell into the darkness. A distant crunch echoed up, as he slammed into the floor below.

The battle won, the party caught their breath, tended to their wounds and searched the area for treasure. A pair of chests turned up a number of daggers and several bags of coins.



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