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  1. The Rampage Reborn

April 26, 2011 12:45

The party debated the veracity of the information imparted to them by Merasta. Everyone agreed she was manipulating the party to achieve her goals, whatever those goals may be. In the end the party decided they had no other choice but to negotiate with the orcs to ensure the survival of Alo and the refugees from Cappaecia. The party entered orcish territory and quickly encountered a second patrol. Mordrek noted the patrol was equipped with dwarven armor and weapons, all of which was painted red. The orcs were not eager to fight the party a second time, and after a brief parley the orcs offered to escort the party to their village to meet the shaman Keemsh. During the parley with the orcs Mordrek was able to examine their weapons more closely and determine they had been forged by the Anidheim dwarf clan, masters of metallurgy, creators of both the warforged constructs and the fell star metal cult that gave birth to the orcs.

The orc village occupied a city square that was once filled with fountains. There the orcs had contructed many crude, cave like dwellings. Keemsh arrived and a tense negotiation took place. A’shale was able to establish a relationship with Keemsh which played a decisive role in forging an alliance with the orcs. Keemsh agreed to free the enslaved beastmen in return for A’shale becoming their hostage. Led by the minotaur Adar the beastmen swore to join the assault on Olash’s tribe and take no hostile action against Keemsh’s people. The party was to train and equip the beastmen for the coming battle. Keemsh suggested an assault on Olash’s tribe on the eve of the red moon of Lammash. At this meeting, Keemsh was to hand over his daughter to feed the appetite of the infernal being and ensure peace between the tribes. Leaving A’shale a prisoner, the party withdrew and made the best of what little time they had to prepare the beastmen.

On the eve of battle the red moon of Lammash rose between the constellations of fortune and rebirth. Mordrek was the first to see the red moon’s auspicious rising and summoned the party and their beastmen allies. The party hastened to the orc village and Keemsh released A’shale. The party hid in the rubble while Keemsh and his warriors proceeded to the meeting place. A squad of Olash’s warriors formed a line blocking the way to the prisoner exchange. A loud cry rang out and battle was joined. The party emerged from the rubble and charged the orcs. The party defeated the orcs after a fierce battle and met briefly with Keemsh, learning that he had killed his own daughter as a signal to begin the attack rather than risk her falling into Olash’s hands. Keemsh rallied his warriors and the surviving beastmen to move on the village while the party advanced on the dwarven fortress occupied by Olash.

The party met no resistance and quickly gained entrance to the undefended
fortess. Pushing open a set of bronze double doors, they discovered Olash and his servants in huge forge. With Olash were two orc berserkers, his quasit familiar, and two foul creatures unknown to the party (we never identified them) sprouting a mass of writhing tentacles around a gnashing maw. Arcane runes were graven on the walls, and Olash was standing before an altar conducting a rite. Intense heat filled the room form four great forge pits roiling with the lava and flames of the elemental chaos.

Nahjra charged Olash before his forces closed in around the party, leaping on the altar and swinging at the warlock as Olash rose in the air. Olash proved to be a deadly foe, and was twice hurled into the forge pits only to emerge wreathed in flames to continue the battle. Olash was finally hewed in twain by a mighty blow from Shamash yet mocked the heroes even as he died. The battle ended with Nahjra unconscious from his duel with Olash. The party was victorious, but badly wounded as they turned their thoughts towards the arrival of the infernal horror summoned by Olash.

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