March of the Red Hand of Doom

The Gate

(I’m going to skeleton out the details for now. Let me know if I missed anything, and I will flesh it out more)

Part I: After defeating Little Boy, the party traveled further into the cave looking for the captives. A young woman ran towards them (a seemingly escaping captive) chased by a rather fierce wolfy-humanoid, Grent the Shifter and a hobgoblin, Drexxul the shaman. Turns out she was the werewolf and they were actually running in to attack the party. After a hard battle, complete with insect swarms, the three were defeated. Further exploration into the cave found their sleeping quarters and a teleportational gate. A journal described the gate as a portal where the prisoners had been taken. The fearless adventurers immediately traveled through the gate to rescue the captives, hoping to find a way to get back on the other side. Upon arriving, they found that at the opposite end of the tunnel from the gate was guarded by powerful undead, and that they needed a spell to open the gate again from this side. After setting traps and resting, the party lay waste to the vicious undead. Past the undead was a room with a waterfall coursing down from many levels above into an underground courtyard. A set of stairs (infrequently used) went up, and a set of double doors (most tracks led there) left the courtyard. It appeared that the prisoners were taken through the doors, so it was promptly agreed upon to go through them.

Part II: Through the doors was a temple room, formerly to Gruumsh, now to Tiamat, where the captives were tied down on a symbol of each of Tiamat’s heads preparing to be sacrificed by the skeletal minions of an orc necromancer. Two other skeletal abominations ran percussion to the chanting. The skeletons were destroyed, the necromancer was slain, and all but one of the prisoners was rescued. After administering to the injured captives, a small room was discovered off the temple room where the necromancer kept shop and tortured another orc to death. Among the necromancer’s possessions was a scroll of Speak With Dead, and it was agreed to use it on the tortured orc as he might be more helpful. Turned out he was a high ranking cleric of Gruumsh before Zavek’s orcs took over their stronghold, and tortured and killed him to find two mighty artifacts of Gruumsh which would unite the orcs under the banner of Zavek and his white dragon mount. The sacrificial rituals with the captives was a means to try to discover where the artifacts were. One was successfully found (The Hammer of Gruumsh) and was wielded by Zavek. The other (The Wyrmslayer Spear) was still hidden in the tomb of Krushk One-Tusk. The cleric told us how to acquire it, if we agreed to kill Zavek, and use a medallion that would send the Hammer (and the spear if within the blast) back to Gruumsh. The party agreed, and traveled up the stairs to the real hidden tomb of Krushk One-Tusk. The tomb was found, the guardians (animate statues, spike traps, and a truly unpleasant black pudding) were defeated and the spear recovered.

Part III: After safely setting up the former captives in the now clear tomb, the adventurers snuck further up through the levels of the subbasements to the orc fortress’ top where Zavek was preparing to unite the orc tribes. Much to the parties great ingenuity and skill, they made it to the top without arousing suspicion. It was decided that the group would face Zavek in his throne room before he could rally. Sneaking above, a collapsed floor was discovered directly over the throne room, and that was where the ambush was staged. The amulet was thrown down, opening a void to Gruumsh that sucked in the Hammer, while the party attacked Zavek and his inner council. A long pressed battle ensued, with much heroics, orcish death, and the arrival (and slaying) of the white dragon. Upon killing Zavek, the dragon, his council, and a number of orc grunts, it was determined that the party was now at the top of a fortress surrounded by angry orc tribes and needed to find a means of escape before being over run

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Erich

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