Now with the Hobgoblin dead, we begin to plan our next move. We find a scroll sitting on a table written in what appears to be Black Speech… aka orcish.
Are nothing to do with the artifact. Keep Hidden do not touch. Party sent to get. Messenger come quicker. Two days behind is Shang to get bring to me. Hands off, kill any dwarfs around. No one get to Harkenwold ti I get hands on it."
The remaining four of us head up the stairs to investigate the rest of the tower. As we ascend to the second floor, we note arrowheads peaking out of a tapestry and a glowing red set of eyes near a statue and pile of bones. Arrows skip off the wall near our head and the party leaps into combat. Korvus Bronn attempts to cross the chamber and the center of the floor collapses. Only an athletic leap back saves him from going to the bottom floor. He engages the two archers behind the tapestry. Mindartis uses a racial ability called fey step to basically teleport up to the other two archers on the raised platform.
Skeletons pop up as Castar moves to join Korvus Bronn. Tonights healing word is bitch. Anyway… the fight continues and shifts up the stairs to the next floor. The party is slightly spread out because the healer and dwarf are slowed by the skeletons.
A circle of ruins, bedding and broken walls and a magic circle greet Korvus on the top floor. Oh, also a bugbear, the escaped goblin shaman and some guy in a lot of armor. Castar slays the final skeleton and moves to join the men on the top floor. The dwarf runs, but doesn’t get much further. Korvus moves to attack the bugbear and narrowly avoids a floor trap. His attack is powerful, knocking the bugbear down and then hitting him again when he gets up. However, the bugbear delivers a shot to Korvus, bloodying him in one blow. Mindartus joins Korvus and puts the hurt on the bugbear, but doesn’t kill him. Korvus finishes the bugbear and shifts over to attack the goblin underboss who is attacking the dwarf, Dulgar. Mindartus attacks the goblin mage and is attacked by two wolves that pop out of the bedding in the corner. Both wolves deliver critical blows injuring him severely. The party fights fiercely dropping the spellcaster quickly.
The fight goes about another minute, but the party keeps the advantage and ends the encounter decisively. Gems worth about 300 gp are found and a nice set of blades are found which we give to Korvus. We rest the night and head out the next day. Following the road east, we go to the Orc fortress, near the village of Harkenwold. The fortress appears to be underground and the trail we followed lead clearly to it.
As we head down the stairs, a large room opens up before us. Three fire beetles, two orcs and a dead goblin are in the room. Korvus and Castar take out a fire beetle, then the fire beetles breathe on the party. Two orcs also jump Castar, combined with the damage from the fire beetle, he goes down. Dulgar runs up and heals Castar in a timely fashion. Things are touch and go for a while, but our studliness sees us through. We find a dwarf near deaths door, he tells information regarding the titan. He says they only wanted the titan to destroy the orcs, then they were going to bind him again. He says we can bind him by taking the 4 parts to the magic circles and saying “Tarzak Stongmak” (This is old dwarfish for I bind you from the days when the dwarfs were the slaves of giants.
We approach a door leading further into the fortress/dungeon. We hear a lot of activity on the other side; the rattle of plates, laughing, talking, etc. A quick peek in the room reveals a large group of orcs are having a banquet and party. We Leroy Jenkins into the room and lay waste to the enemy. The surviving mage bargains for his life, gives us a nice hammer, tells us where the hidden stuff is and tells us about the chieftan, who he hates.
After prepping for the fight, Castar pulls the lever that opens the door and the fight begins. There is a chieftan, two orc berserkers and a wolf. The berzerkers are quickly dispatched, but the chieftan is a beast and takes much longer. After a super long fight, the chieftan finally dies. We search the room and find 400 gold. As we exit, we hear a dragon scream and see that Harkenwood is on fire. We rescue 20 villagers from their burning huts. There was much scorched skin and clothing, but we succeeded.
The Baron of the town, Stockmar, thanks us. Then notices the dwarf and gets angry with him about the presence of attacks when the dwarfs show up. The Baron tells us that at the winter and summer soltice he has to give the dragon 20 head of cattle. We check the dwarf warehouse in the city and notice a hatch where we find another part of the artifact.