All Hail the King Continued
The road home to Freeport had been long and the most trying of your lives but Sveta was eager to fulfill her promise to Cormanthyr. “Who is this orc that I need to kill? Where can I find him?” she asked the admiral. “ His name is Dashglunk, a warlord of the Ashbloods. They were camped out east of town but have since moved into Scurvytown and are carrying away anything that isn’t nailed down.” Durge grumbled a bit and whispered to his daughter, “I know this Dashglunk, very dangerous…perhaps I should fight him.” Sveta sneered at her father and simply replied “no.” She had been itching for a standup fight and after dealing, bartering, and sneaking her way through the outer planes the time had finally come for open bravado.
A fine mist was blanketing Freeport as the party left Dorin’s Well for Scurvytown. Normally only Sveta would brave that area of Freeport by night but Sveta insisted on leaving right away. Even from a distance you could hear screams and shouting and it was obvious that parts of the ghetto were burning. Not sure where to look for Dashglunk, Sveta decided to head for the one place in Scurvytown that all orcs loved, Crom’s Throat. The Throat is the only orc bar in Freeport. There are no tables, no chairs, and not even a bar. Four cisterns the size of cathedral bells line the back wall and a feeding trough sits nearby. Lining the bottom of each cistern are dozens of bronze nipples from which a steady flow of rot gut whiskey flows. Any orc who wishes to drink or eat must fight their way to the prize and hold their spot for as long as they wish to imbibe.
As you entered the slums you could see that the town guard, led by Sandek, had formed a score of roadblocks to contain the chaos. They had no interest in helping the residents of the slum but rather were ordered to prevent the rioting from entering the wealthier parts of Freeport. Arriving at Crom’s Throat you could see about a dozen Ashblood orcs warming themselves by a large bonfire. When Sveta attempted to enter the bar one of the orcs blocked her and warned that no one would be allowed entrance. Nearby, Sveta could see Cragwipe, the owner of Crom’s Throat. He was battered but still alive. Before Sveta’s eyes returned to the orc, a fist sailed past her head. After the failed sucker punch, orcs and party members alike began to brawl. At first, no weapons were drawn but Durge quickly changed that when he buried his axe into the chest of the orc that tried to punch his daughter. Soon all of the orcs had either fled or were left in the mud of the street.
Sveta pushed the free swinging doors of the bar open to see about ten heavily armed and armored orcs drinking and eating. Durge followed behind. “That’s him…his axe is the symbol of leadership. You will need to take it” he whispered to Sveta, pointing out a massive orc leaning on a great axe. Dashglunk was dressed in the hides of a dire bear and his mouth was large enough to fit a human head within. Durge had warned that his bite had taken the face of a previous challenger clean off. There was something unnatural about this orc but if the Ashbloods were going to be brought under control he would have to be killed.
The room was silent as the rest of the party filed in. Mirari stayed by the door and kept an eye on the street. Sveta boldly stepped forward and stared at Dashglunt. Every hand in the room moved slowly for the hilt of their weapons waiting to see what would happen next. “I am here to kill you Dashglunk. But you can still live if you surrender your axe.” The giant orc let out a hideous laugh, his great mouth lurching open with the convulsions of his body. “No woman can be king,” he replied with disdain. Another orc, clearly a shaman, interrupted “a challenger has come, just kill her and be done with it.” Still laughing slightly, Dashglunk realized that the eyes of his lieutenants were on him. Sveta took a step forward and shouted, “bring it coward!” With that Dashglunk grabbed his axe, screamed, and charged Sveta. The massive orcs first blow struck Sveta with incredible force (critting for 41pts of damage). Sveta countered with a stunning fist and a flurry of blows that left the orc on the ground gasping for air as his axe fell from his hand. Durge kneeled down and lifted the Ashblood Axe but the Shaman yelled for him to drop it. Dashglunk was stunned but not defeated. Smiling at his daughers display, Durge tossed the axe on top of the orc, “here, you might still need this.” The orcs lieutenants were screaming for Dashglunk to get up when Sveta hit him with another stunning fist and a hail of fists, knees, and elbows. Again, Dashglunk was left on the ground pissing himself, unable to recover from the stunning blow. Sveta knelt down and grabbed Dashglunk’s head and while her eyes scanned the orc lieutenants she snapped his neck with a loud crunch. She then lifted the Ashblood Axe and took the head of their fallen king.
There were still a couple of orcs who could not accept the out come but Sveta made quick work of them as well. By now, a massive gathering of orcs had appeared outside. Sveta handed the Ashblood Axe to her father and walked outside with Dashglunk’s head. Tossing it into the crowd she warned them that if they didn’t follow Durge’s orders to the letter that she would “come back and kill every one of you mother fuckers!” With that Durge ordered the Ashblood orcs back to their camp.
The party returned to Dorin’s with news of their victory. Cormanthyr was impressed but had little time for celebration. He needed 10 orcs for a special mission into Helegrod. “They need to be experienced and cunning. This will not be a stand up fight” After discussing the specifics with Cormanthyr, Durge left for the Ashblood camp to find suitable soldiers.
By now discussion of Dorin’s “wake the sleeping giant” riddle had returned. Some believed that he spoke of the slumbering dragon on the north end of the island. Others thought he could be speaking of Raziya. Since no one had heard from the little girl in so long Sveta and Mirari decided to go down to her nest below the docks and check on her. At the docks you saw an unusual sight. Everyone who was walking the pier that night seemed to completely detour around the area of Raziya’s hideout. When asked why they took such unusual route and circumvented the area they couldn’t explain why simply stating “it just seemed like a good idea at the time.”
When Mirari and Sveta approached they could feel a tug on their minds. Sveta continued toward Raziya’s nest but soon realized that Mirari thought it would be a “good idea” to return to Dorin’s. Sveta climbed under the pier to find the little girl unconcious. She was covered in sweat and felt warm to the touch. When Sveta pulled back some blankets covering Raziya she found that parts of her skin were glowing faintly. Not sure what to do, Sveta grabbed the child and returned to Dorin’s.
After much discussion the party decided that Raziya was the “sleeping giant” but had no idea what was happening to her or what to do about it. You knew of three people that had information about the girl and her powers. The first, Osrith, the former head master of her school, was dead. Second, Dorin, had the closest relationship with Raziya of anyone in Freeport but he had been taken by Ravage. Lastly, Ravage knew quite well what she was capable of and had captured her to use her power for his ends.
To everyone it seemed obvious that your road would lead to Ravage. Destroying Ravage was the key to freeing not only Hans Drubal but your dear friend Dorin as well. If this also led to “waking the sleeping giant” then all the better. Orek speculated that by freeing Hans Drubal he would retain some of Ravages memories and be able to assist with Raziya.
The latest news placed Ravage in Helegrod leading the Abyssal armies there. Your new griffon mounts would make travel much easier in Helegrod but even by the fastest ship it would take four weeks to get into flying distance for your mounts. Cormanthyr had arranged for a ship to take his 10 orc spies to Helegrod and he offered you room aboard.
Hauling the four hundred pound mirror that contained Drubal’s soul through the badlands was a major concern for you all. Carpenters were hired to build a housing for the mirror and special handles were fixed in place to allow the griffons to easily grasp the cargo. If all went as planned, Hans Drubal would fly on the wings of griffons to his salvation.
The first three weeks of sailing were fairly quiet. You encountered signs of battle nearly daily but in all cases you arrived after the fighting had ended. Debris from ships littered the ocean and only one survivor had been found. He spoke of huge eel headed beasts with massive tentacles bringing down warships from beneath the water. Orek believed that these demons sounded like servants of Dagon. This surprised the mage because the ancient Obyrith had rarely sent his minions outside of his own abyssal realm.
About a week out of your destination a raft with five orc survivors could be seen drifting in the distance. The party used their griffons to scout the horizon while Grishma began to ferry the orcs aboard the ship. Kreuzzuger, who had been wielding Titallis, was warned by the bow, who had the ability to sense demons, that these were not really orcs. Before Kreuzzuger could issue a warning the orcs skin seemed to rip away revealing demonic creatures with oversized claws and toothy mouths. They immediately began to attack the ships masts and rigging. The party swooped in and attacked from their griffons killing the demons in short order.
The party has another week at sea before reaching Helegrod.