Perils on the Borderlands, Day 23-24, Orcs! Part 2

Arden and Company continue their exploration of the orc lair in the Caves of Chaos…

The party finds an armory with a large number of spears, some swords, and a suit of dwarven chain and human sized chain. They leave it for the moment.

The chief is barricaded in his room. He takes a healing potion, grabs some of his treasure and makes for the secret room connecting the two orc lairs. His concubines stay behind in bewilderment.

The party manages to break the door down, crowbar and axe assisting.

The chieftain has fled and the two orc females will not attack. They nervously look towards a corner of the room concealing the secret door. I have Martin make a wisdom check and he is able to pick up on this clue.

Also in this room is an alcove with an iron lock box lying open. The chieftain had grabbed some of the treasure. I randomly rolled and determined he was able to make off with about half of the coins. The company takes the remainder and finds a scroll of fireball…translating this to Pits & Perils means a Fire Bolt scroll.

Using a series of checks, Martin, Corwin, and Thane all succeed on their Wis or Int checks and manage to open the secret door. The orc women are allowed to leave the room. In all, Arden and company have let 7 male orcs flee with their women and children. I had made a ruling that if the orcs were pressed in defense of their common room they would receive a +1 morale bonus to attack. Arden decides it is better not to wear the company’s resources down by killing the orcs. Also, he won’t participate in wholesale slaughter. Allowing them to flee will suffice.

The company finds a secret meeting room. This is an area known only by the two chieftains (areas B and C). The two orc tribes are rivals but the chieftains meet in secret to occasionally work together. The chief has fled to the other tribe to ask for help with the human invaders.

Nothing is in the secret meeting room except for a table and a bucket in the corner. The company finds a pouch under the bucket and 2 giant centipedes! Martin is bit and Thane also! Thankfully Martin makes his save. Thane fails his by one point and uses a Luck point to adjust the roll making his save. The centipedes are killed. The pouch contains silver and a gem.

Moving into the Area C cave, the company first finds the chieftain’s quarters. Arden and Thane go in first, the door takes several tries to budge open. They encounter one orc guard. The chieftain is in the next room with the other chieftain and his wife.

Battle ensues. The chieftain of this tribe yells at the other orc chieftain, “You fool! You’ve led them here! Kill them or I shall kill you myself!”

Thane works on the guard while Martin and Arden attack the chieftains. One chieftain hurls a magic handaxe +1 but misses.

As the PCs deal with the orc chieftains. Corwin is watching and waiting to use his spell. The orc warriors hear the sounds of battle and come running to their chieftain’s defense. Arden’s archers fire on them but the volley fails to hit. Meklin and Handsome hold the line, while Corwin casts his Fear spell. The first chieftain is killed by Martin.

The orcs all scatter, except for the other chieftain. He makes a stand, but is cut down by Arden with the help of Martin and Thane.

The company discovers more treasure, including a +1 handaxe. The first chieftain was carrying a +1 shield. Both of these are given to Thane.

The remaining orcs flee the caves.

Arden and Company have defeated the orcs! They carry away what treasure they find and also many of the good quality weapons from the orc armory.

Some of the treasure gained:

A keg of good wine (55 sp), platemail (orc chieftain), chainmail (other orc chieftain), dwarf sized chainmail, another set of human sized chainmail, handaxe +1, shield +1, silver belt with gold buckle (160 sp), sword with gem in pommel (100 sp), ivory bracelet (100 sp), sack with 50 gp (big prize), rope of climbing, copper bowl (10 cp, actually worth 50 sp but no one passed their check to notice it carefully), 1 gem (50 sp), 4 swords, 18 spears,

Coins in total = 56 gp, 268 sp, 37 cp

Notes–the battle with the orcs was long, even with the simple rules. Each orc was wearing leather and had 1-3 hp. Having PCs concentrate on one orc at a time helped, especially with the chieftains. I had the orcs do the same at times. The orc chieftain directed the orcs to kill Arden and it almost worked. The orc chieftains were both level 3 enemies, each gaining +1 to hit.

In addition to Martin’s healing spell, some of the company passed around the dwarven brandy (restoring 1 hp each drink).

Arden’s archers worked worse than I had hoped. They were able to shoot two volleys while in the dungeon and both times each archer missed. When melee began, the archers were unable to fire.

The combat effectiveness for the company has increased with the recovery of a magic handaxe and magic shield. Both of these will be given to Thane the dwarf.

During the return to the Keep one of the men-at-arms, Jacob Scoggins (criminal), was contemplating stealing some of the coin. I considered this and then decided that the iron strongbox from the orc lair would’ve been used to transport some of the treasure. Scoggins may have had the desire, but too many eyes were on it. Even if Scoggins could’ve convinced others to follow his lead, there were too few to defeat the PCs and their loyal men-at-arms.

As the party made their way to the Keep, I rolled a daytime encounter. Bandits were the result. The nine bandits that had met the PCs in the past were again on the prowl. They were outnumbered and out armed. The bandits had fewer missile weapons, less men, and no desire to confront such a large and well-armed party. The presence of the men-at-arms helped to prevent this encounter.

Several of the new men-at-arms are characterized as craven or cowardly, but even in the battle I did not roll morale for them. The archers were not in direct contact with any orcs during the battle. Next time, they may show their true colors.

It was a really fun trip into the Caves of Chaos.

More soon…

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