In the middle of the night, Sir Eric Viridian rushed into the Bronze Buzzard looking for the party. Fires were spotted on the East road, and Sir Eric lacked the men to investigate. He agreed to pay the party one gold apiece to find out what happened.
Arriving just before dawn, our heroes discovered a severed troll’s arm in the middle of the road. Surrounding a broken wagon were roughly twenty dead orcs, and in the middle laid the broken body of Silas Silvermane. The party quickly found Rowan Longmeadow, dead beside a burning tree. Following a trail of blood into the trees, Hollis found Gavin Longmeadow, bleeding from a dozen wounds, clutching a diamond ring and a lock of Ilsa’s hair. His last words were “Tell Ilsa, I’m sorry I never got to take her to the harvest dance.” Searching the arrow, and their fallen friends, Hollis recovered several drafts of a toast, and a necklace of incredible power from the body of Silas Silvermane. Six topaz gems made up the Stones of Stiglitz, a Dwarven treasure that contained the charisma and wisdom of Dwarven scholars and archmages.
Several orcs came rushing out of the woods, and the party formed up behind the wagon. A quick fight took out the orcs, and the party even managed to take a prisoner. However, before they were able to question him, the iron collar set with an onyx that he wore around his neck, appeared to strangle him. He was dead before he hit the ground.
Totally abandoning the bodies of their fallen friends, the party decided to follow a trail South, and hopefully catch the troll responsible for the death of the Longmeadows and Silas Silvermane. Hrothgar was able to track them easily, to a lair in the mountains. For the first time in this group’s history – everything went according to plan.
With a quick combination of scouting and Finnan’s illusion magic, the party lured the two orcs standing watch at the mouth of the cave into the open. Osrik and Hollis put them down quickly with their bows. Hollis scouted parts of the cave along with an invisible Tuan, and they discovered two chambers, one with several orcs, and a smaller chamber to the side. Ol’ Grig put together a bundle of kindling that effectively blocked the corridor to the right with a blaze of fire, and Hollis rolled a crit on a stealth check to discover he was alarmingly close to the one-armed troll. The enormous one-armed troll. Wasting no time, Hrothgar rushed in to tank the troll. Finnan unleashed every acid arrow in his arsenal for some wicked damage, and kept the troll from effectively regenerating. Ol’ Grig displayed a surprisingly nasty necrotic spell inflicting wounds, and Hollis got the kill with a fire arrow from the back. Osrik’s crossbow missed several times.
Distressingly, killing a troll seemed to be the easy part of this adventure. The battered party, still had to contend with the other part of the cave, and still hadn’t found Silas Silvermane’s legendary axe “Lunacrist.”
Turning their attentions to the Eastern corridor, Ol’ Grig began singing a racially offensive song about orcs. Nobody called HR. Two more orcs were cut down in no time. Then the wights got into the fight. Awesomely, Hollis hit one with a color spray, which totally saved Ol’ Grig’s life. I can’t stress that enough here. Tuan was out of spells, and got hit for some nasty wight drain, but held it together long enough for the party to take them down. For the first time, having two clerics in the party paid off.
Facing off with the orc shaman, Sybil started slashing her way to glory, when Osrik had an idea. Osrik noticed that the shaman was wearing an iron collar, and put it together that these collars can be fatal to the wearers. Sound logic from the brains of the operation. Osrik tried to grapple the orc shaman, and failed his roll miserably. Hollis stole Osrik’s plan, and rolled extremely well, preserved the collar and liquified the shaman’s head. Thus the climactic and most difficult planned encounter of the adventure was cut short. Osrik had hoped to interrogate the shaman, who only said “The collars don’t come off,” before screaming for his life.
Everyone botched their checks to figure out the glamour trap, but Finnan was clever enough to realize the iron key on the shaman was somehow related. That was enough to reveal a chest with 20 gold, and the missing axe, Lunacrist. Lunacrist spoke to Osrik and after thanking him for avenging Silas Silvermane’s murder, instructed him to return her to Anvilhold, and to find Stratton.
The party formulated plans concerning their next moves. Everyone decided to split up and pursue different jobs that suited their strengths. The party settled on a name, calling themselves Oathenders and Company. Gathering up the bodies of their dead friends, they started the sad walk back to Westerfield.
Nobody blew the horn.