Heroes of Khemer
Azgar - Dwarven Stronghold
We notice a thin wisp of smoke coming from the other side of the hill, discovering that it is coming from a natural fissure in the rock rather than a camp fire or the like. The fissure is large enough to enter and the group decides to send Ian down at the end of a rope to investigate. After about 80 feet, it opens into a room of sorts with a fire pit in the middle about 15 feet down.
Upon entering the next chamber, we come across two human prisoners: a woman named Courana and a man named Geraedil, merchants the orcs are trying to ransom off. We convince them to stay where they are for the moment until we can clear a means of escape.
Heading to the west through a set of double doors, we surprise a pair of orcs, lying in wait for any intruders behind a couple of stalagmites. Although we quickly dispatch them, they are able to raise alarm. The room is split by a chasm, with a rope bridge across it and a set of double doors on the opposite side. More orcs pour out of hidden doors to either side of those opposite doors, firing their bows at the group. Sounds of more to come from the east. Fighting them off from both ends, including a particularly wicked orc, the group finishes the battle by taking down the apparent leader of the band, an Ogre named Ulf and his pair of wolves. What could have been a nasty situation is handled almost easily as each and every member of the group does their part.
After escorting the trapped merchants to our base camp, we continue our exploration, including the defensive positions surrounding the entrance. We discover just how painful our approach to the front entrance would have been, as there are numerous arrow slits along the way. A costly entrance it would have been indeed.
We continue our delve into the stronghold, coming across what we assume the ogre had been using as his chambers. The scene is horrific, with a bloody, elven skull on the end of a spear adorning the room, and a smell to match. However, it also offers two chests full of silver and gold, a magical potion, a note written in elven, and a magical elven rapier named “The Dancer.” The note appears to request aid of some sort from Ulf, referring to some sort of organization called “The Hand.” As we divvy the spoils of our efforts, it does not go unnoticed that a real sense of camaraderie seems to be taking hold within the group.
While Hedrid inspects the magic nature of some of the items we found, three of us go to investigate a massive statue of a dwarf just around the corner from this chamber, only to trigger an ancient gas trap, thankfully only sickening us rather than causing any actual harm.
The next room is fairly sizable and seems to have been used as a bunkhouse, but is otherwise empty. The following room is not so empty, as a quick fight with several orcs ensues.
Upon closer inspection of the only corridor as yet unexplored, we find that it has been intentionally barricaded with crates and such. After clearing the way, we find a large hall with a strange set of descending stairs set in the middle.