Our longest combat, and by far the nastiest of this campaign. Four of the characters knocked unconscious (one twice) in a twenty-eight round fight! Considering that the group was in almost constant difficulty, they are extremely lucky that a ‘severed hand’ was the worse anyone suffered (apart from being comatose) and that no-one was killed. There were fumbles on both sides of the table, but none of us has ever seen the run of natural 20’s I rolled for the orcs during the combat. The equipment recovered from the dead orcs was worth a considerable sum of money, but there was no magical items, and two restoration spells and a new wand of CLW took a chunk out of their funds.
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17th Harvester (continued):
Merxif uses his crystal skull and four orcs flee in fear out of the cave. The remaining two are quickly killed. Bacon moves to look around the corner of the western exit and is surprised by a waiting orc guard – who drops a burning torch into the very shallow pool of oil in which the dwarf is now standing. As flames and smoke obscure the passage, he backs up slightly. While he watches that direction, Hardaz looks east. He too sights an orc guard – who throws something at him. The tanglefoot bag explodes into sticky filaments that glue Hardaz to the corner. More of the party push past to attack the guard and the couple of orcs backing him up. As combat continues they observe more orcs in adjacent rooms immediately north, and further to the east. Bacon comes up to join the expanding fight in two rooms. A few of the new orcs are stronger and quite tough, striking hard with great swords. Merxif has one of his hands almost completely severed. He heals himself quickly, stopping the bleeding, but his hand is useless. The orcs, particularly with their ferocity which keeps them fighting where other creatures would fall senseless. Seldrel casts grease on the passage they entered by, having heard more orcs approaching. Two appear in the passage, but keep slipping and falling. (One eventually retreats and the other makes it out of the grease and is killed.) Both Merxif and Hardaz are knocked unconscious. Lanliss revives their cleric with a healing potion, who is soon after able to get Hardaz back on his feet. Lanliss tumbles behind the northern group of orcs and inflicts severe wounds before being knocked out cold himself. Hardaz moves to his aid, and Merxif finds himself alternating between selective channelling to heal most of the party, and cure spells to restore individuals. Lanliss gets up to fight again as more orcs arrive from the north and east. Seldrel casts web into the eastern passage and the room beyond, trapping a number of orcs. They are able to kill two at the front of the webbed area, but soon hear cries for fire to burn the web from those they can’t see. Bacon looses two fingers in the melee, and Lanliss drops a second time, then Summer. The group believes they have taken down two dozen orcs so far. The minutes long conflict has been extremely demanding, but thankfully no more orcs come from the north or west. Merxif casts a second Prayer as the first has run out, and Seldrel uses Blur from a wand on both himself and Hardaz. All but Seldrel are wounded; Lanliss is stable but still comatose.
The web burns through and the last few orcs emerge and are slowly defeated. The party heal as best they can, getting all on their feet again and start to scout the chambers. Some time later, heading west and north, they are ambushed twice by small groups of orcs. Eventually they reach a large room with many sets of double doors and a dead goblin. Lanliss detects a trap and everyone else pulls back. He disarms the triggers on each door that would release gas into the room and with effort opens each set of doors. All are false – bare stone behind them. They backtrack and locate a secret door. Lanliss cautiously moves up stairs at sights a long wide hall. There are railed ledges above each side and moving figures can be seen on them. He retreats and the group discuss tactics. The casters are out of spells, and their wand of cure light wounds is almost exhausted. Two party members have hand injuries that require treatment they can’t get here. Going back to town seems they best option. As they head back through the orcs rooms, they loot anything of value – mostly weapons. They are happy to have an undisturbed trip to Falsford, arriving late in the afternoon. On the way back though, each of the group realise that something has changed. Seldrel feels stronger, Lanliss more nimble, Winter tougher. While scanning for magic and trying to determine what has happened, Seldrel’s spell fails as he scans Merxif. The two of them soon work out that Merxif, and Summer too, have minor Spell Resistance.
18th Bacon and Merxif visit the Temple of Rao for restoration. The rest of the group sell equipment and make repairs to their gear. Hardaz is determined to have developed minor acid resistance.