Feature Image Source: Ralph Horsley
As orcs descend on the party, we continue our quest in Nightstone. If you are currently running Storm King’s Thunder, beware possible spoilers ahead. You can also catch up on the previous DM Matt adventures here.
With Ren and Sari facing off alone against a horde of orcs rushing into the city, Vola and Theren decided it best to stop the flow of people crossing the rope to the keep. Theren found suitable hiding places for the remaining villagers stuck outside the keep as Vola “assisted” Larken back over to their side of the keep’s moat (assisted meaning pulled really hard on the rope rocketing him across as he held on and jumped). As they started rushing to the gate, Vola noticed a hole in one of the outer walls; caused by the giant attack. She felt that left the city open to an attack dangerously close to the keep. Vola and Theren broke off from the advance to the main gate to secure the breached wall. Their intuitions paid off as Theren saw splashes coming from the water outside the hole in the wall.
Larken, Cassius, and Morack joined the fight just in time as the orcs started pouring across the bridge leading into the main gate. Cassius brought in some extra help by summoning a lion and tiger companion to fight by their side. He obviously was not just some helpless duke as we originally thought.
Props are due to our DM Matt at this point as two separate battles ensued. He handled it seamlessly.
—– MAIN GATE —–
It became obvious that the gate could not be raised in time to stop the orcs, so Ren misty stepped down from the gate tower. She thunder waved to push some of the orcs back from the main gate and managed to eliminate 4 of them right away. Seeing Ren pushing the orcs back, Sari came down from the second gate tower and wild shaped into an elk. She started pushing her way through the orcs, and Ren jumped on her back to ride along for mounted combat.
—– BREACHED WALL —–
Three orcs emerged from the water as Theren and Vola came up to the breach in the wall, and Vola spotted four more on the other side of the shore. She yelled out in orcish that the leader of the raiding party wanted them all to regroup at the main gate now. I rolled a spectacularly awful persuasion check though, so the group of orcs were in no way buying what this half-orc girl was selling.
Seeing they did not believe her and wanting to hold off from fighting, Vola asked in orcish their clan name. I made yet another awful persuasion roll, so one of the orcs made a smart-ass comment, “the clan that is taking this city”. Vola decided that was enough with the pleasantries and threw a javelin at the smart-ass orc. Unable to shake the feeling she should not be killing fellow orcs, she threw wide and missed the orc completely. The orc however had no reservations attacking her and immediately threw his own javelin hitting Vola square in the shoulder. Theren retaliated and cast flaming sphere, completely immolating that orc.
—– MAIN GATE —–
Cassius held back from the main fight, took aim with his bow, and eliminated an orc right away with his shot. Sari also continued to push through the orcs as Ren shot firebolts from her back. Seeing Cassius and Ren taking down orcs so easily, the orc leader snarled and let out a loud battle cry to bolster his raiders. Gaining advantage on their attacks, the orc raiders began fighting back the party making some headway through the gates.
Larken recognized this tactic after a nicely rolled arcana check and cast bless to give the group a little extra help countering the raiders savage attacks. Cassius immediately took advantage of the blessing, cutting down another orc with an arrow. Seeing the leader fairly untouched, he recalled his pets and shot a vine arrow that entangled the leader in strong ropy vines. Unfortunately the orc leader was extremely strong, so he broke that grapple almost instantly.
Despite slipping the grasp of the vines, the leader gained little ground as he watched Sari trample and kill yet another one of his orcs. Ren also dealt another blow, hopping off Sari’s back and casting another thunder wave that finished off another orc fighter. As she turned from her latest kill though, Ren felt a creeping command enter her mind, telling her to walk off the bridge into the water. She resisted this magical instruction though and began looking for the source of the spell. She spotted an orc healer near the leader and hurled a firebolt his way.
The orc leader was quickly growing angry watching his forces laid to waste. He charged up to Sari and unloaded rage filled attacks. Landing each attack without a miss, he dealt massive damage causing Sariel to lose her elk form. She found herself standing face to face with a snarling, angry orc leader with no beast form to protect her.
source: Scrolls of Lore
—– BREACHED WALL —–
Vola tried one last time to stop the advance telling them to halt for the daughter of the Laughingmaw clan (her estranged father’s clan name). My shitty rolls continued to flow and the orcs’ attack did stop in the slightest. Theren was not suffering from bad roll syndrome however and nat 20’d on an eldritch blast, blowing one of the orcs to bits.
Realizing that reasoning was just not going to work, Vola launched another javelin at the oncoming orcs. I must have been cursed because yet AGAIN my roll robbed me of any chance of success and the javelin was batted away by the advancing foe.
Thankfully after some dice banishing, a favorable roll landed and Vola finally hit with a sword strike. Full of rage from her failure to fight when she knew she should not be holding back, Vola enacted divine smite, cutting down the orc attacker with holy radiance. Seeing their fellow raiders fall and realizing the wall breach no longer offered easy entry, two of the orcs turned back, running to rejoin the main force at the gates.
—– MAIN GATE —–
Feeling the burn from Ren’s firebolt, the orc cleric shook a bag and slammed it against his chest. A red glow imitated from his chest filling him with magical healing. Sari saw this but had little time to act on it as orcs had started to surround her to support their leader. She casted thunder wave in hopes of clearing away the threat. A massive wave of damage blasted out from her and as my DM said “killed the hell out of an orc” next to her. Unfortunately the hardy leader was not taken down by the wave and unleashed another round of painful attacks on Sariel. She was starting to look really rough and in dire need of help.
Morack up to this point had not joined the fight. Seeing Sari in such a bad state, he ran to her aid, raised his axe, and immediately missed striking the leader. Thanks for the help there Morack. Unlike his fellow dwarf Morack, Larken landed solid blow one right after the other and summarily destroyed the orc healer with his spiritual weapon (a ethereal representation of the scales of Kelemvor). Adding a little extra insult, Larken yelled out to the dying orc, “Gruumish is a stupid face and Kelemvor is stronger”. Well worded mocking there Larken.
—– BREACHED WALL —–
Only two orcs remained as the others had ran back to the main gate. One of them yelled out to Vola, “Why you stand against Earskeers!?”. Before she could respond, Theren cut the orc down with an eldrich blast. As the final orc rushed in towards Vola she finished the fight taking him out with a searing smite.
—– MAIN GATE —–
Morack did manage to take the orc leader’s attention off Sariel, but that unfortunately left him to get waylaid by the leader. Morack tried to retaliate but missed on his attacks again. Come’on Morack. Dwarves are supposed to be hardy fighters! Bolstered by his overwhelming of this dwarven town leader, the orc boss let out another battle cry to rally his remaining troops.
Sari did not want this to lead to an upper-hand, so she focused a poison spray on the leader, leaving him badly hurt. Larken saw the leader looking rough and decided to finish him off by cutting him in half with his spiritual weapon. He left him with the parting words, “Gruumush sucks Kelemvaor’s balls; enjoy hell!”. So descriptive Larken.
Seeing their leader fall, the reaming three orcs turned back to the forest in retreat.
The battle was over and the town saved, but Vola could not help feeling down about having to kill the orcs. Though they were not part of her father’s tribe, the guilt still gnawed at her. She headed back to the keep with the group to help the villagers back over the moat. Once they started moving the townsfolk back to the main village, Vola realized that two guards were hiding in the keep the whole time rather than helping fight. That really pissed Vola off. She did not want to fight the orcs, but she did it and these cowards hid instead of doing their duty to the town. She picked up a rock and chucked it at one of the guards. OF COURSE after a battle full of misses, I nat 20’ed on throwing a damn rock at the guard. Insult to injury, my DM described the rock as sailing right through the helmet slit and hitting the coward square in the eye.
The party retired to the closest inn for a well deserved drink and a much needed rest. What are the giants up to, and will the group find out what these raiding parties are doing with the Nightstone?
Until the next adventure, Bon Dungeon Eats!