Thousand Gods, Thousand Graves

Chapter 4: Caves

With the orcs routed, the party soon goes about helping the Corusan’s securing their area. Karvara, used to giving orders, sets about getting the wounded help. Asika begins checking the bodies of the orcs while Shao undertakes last right and final words for those that have passed on both sides of the battle.

However, the peace does not last long as a volley of arrows is released from the jungle into the Corusans on the gate. A small scale sniper battle begins.

At that point, a grey pinprick of light grows into a sphere. The sphere is a reality bending path that has Tovik Vanst at the center of it. He motions to Theo and says “The time of choosing has arrived. You must come with me now.” At which point an orc arrow flies through the half formed bridge to the city of Dagmar. Tovik scowls in displeasure, spins and unleashes a grey swath of necrotic magic with his scythe into the jungle. The energy fells tree and orcs alike. The grey beam cuts them in half and rots them at the slice. “Now!” he yells at Theo. With a shrug, Theo walks up to the sphere and beyond. At which point, the spell resides.

The three remaining ambassadors then check the pool where the orcs had emerged inside the compound. There, they find one of the orcs has died. He drowned when an oyster trapped him underwater. Besides good equipment from the Western continent, he also had an ivory thumb ring for his bow of note.

Please that Karvara was able to help his niece, Dormant then asks the party if they will continue into the caves to pursue the orcs. If they follow the caves, they will lead to the coast. Dormant will lead a team overland in the same direction. Ideally, they can find out what happened.

The party agrees and begins their search of the caves. They are each given a Night Stick torch to help them in their search. They soon see the holes the orcs made to drain the pool of water. In addition, the group can see a number of holes that lead into a series of water filled caves below them. After a little bit of searching and following the bloody hand prints of a wounded orc, the group comes to a large cave that has a series of columns rising from the depths. The orcs obviously used these columns to get in and out of the caves and lift themselves up and out of the water filled cavern. However, they covered their trail by cutting the ropes for climbing.

After a few minutes of preparation, Asika soon uses her climbing skills reestablish the rope connections and makes a hand over hand bridge for her two compatriots. All goes well until the very end when Shao slips and falls into the water for a momentary dip. At which point, the two surviving orcs make their appearance. They had been hiding in a canoe in wait of any that would pursue. However, it does not take long to dispatch the two orc archers. Between crossbow bolts, furious shuriken and Shao’s lightning sword techniques, their resistance is soon overcome.

The adventurers then take their newly acquired canoe and continue down the passages. They travel much faster by boat than by land. After a quick trip down a waterfall, the party found itself again under fire by another batch of orcs. The party quickly beaches and assaults the rock face perch of the lookouts. Karvara makes quick work of the sword wielding guards while Asika takes out a couple of the archers. Shao is able to contribute and soon the orc number is cut in half. However, two of the orcs are shamans. One of which is able to drop the tired and wounded Karvara with a magical bolt from his staff. Asika and Shao then work together to help bring Karvara back to standing. However, it is a tough battle and all are severely weakened after their victory.

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