The team is ready for the equipage! The Academy sages have found a dungeon of promise. Maculate goes to the group and tells them about “The Stone Tooth”, an ancient dwarven spire north of Ashenbow. It seems that it has been resettled by orcs, and could be the base that the bandit orcs were raiding from. The fortress has had good loot in the past, and the team can take whatever we want as we clear it of orcs. They gather their things, including 10 healing potions per head from the Academy, 2 potions of superior healing from the bank, and make the crossing to Coral Harbor. They hook up with a caravan for ride to Ashenbow, and stay at the Inn of Many Things once there. They plan to head out the next day or two.
Ashenbow is a town of elvish origin which has become a multicultural trading center. Within its artistically constructed walls people from many origins congregate in vast markets, creating a melting pot of ideas, goods, and cultures. Cael takes the rest of the day to seek out someone who would trade the bag of jewels he filched for magical or rare items. He goes back to the shop owned by the dwarf Tolm, and buys parchment, ink, and pens to make maps of the spire. He talks with Tolm about the dangers of the tower, but only receives general information. He asks Tolm if he has any “goods in the back (wink wink)” and shows him his small bag of jewels. Tolm tells him to come back later that night, which Cael does. He has a scroll and an immovable rod. Cael looks over both of the goods, and trades 6 spinel for the rod.
The next day the team heads out. After a few days of going through the woods they see the stone spire shooting up out of the forest. They notice a smaller, secondary spire a little southwest of the main tower, with a small stream of smoke trailing into the sky. As the team breaks camp the next day they still see the smoke. When they get closer to the tower they see a steep switchback trail going towards the Stone Tooth. Some of the group would rather approach the tower from the front, thinking that the forest could provide cover and the orc force was likely not too large. Others wanted to investigate the smaller tower and the smoke, thinking there could be a secondary camp outside the tower or another entrance. The team decides to check out the smoke, making their way through the forest to find a natural chimney in the side of a hill. The smoke smells like a cooking fire that the meat’s been on too long. Kolathe looks for vehicle tracks, and Lia turns into a wolf and scouts out the front of the main tower. Kolathe cannot find evidence of carts, but Lia finds fresh tracks from 4 heavy booted individuals.
Camp is made for the night away from both the spire and chimney. The next day, Kolathe is insistent on further investigating the chimney, and attacking whatever made the cookfire, figuring it’s orcs. He ties off a rope to the outside of a chimney, as the rest of the team debates whether this chimney even leads into the spire proper, and that just crawling into a smoking hole in the ground is probably pretty dumb. They turn to ask Kolathe’s opinion just in time to see him jump into the chimney. Kolathe rappels down the inside of the chimney, the heat and smoke getting worse the further down he goes, until he runs out of rope. He climbs back up and demands more rope, which Cael provides him. He fixes the rope ends together and finishes the climb. He hops down onto the embers of a dying cookfire. He has emerged into a crude kitchen, with rough walls, and an entryway to the northeast.
He climbs back up again urges the rest to come down, which they do reluctantly. Cael scouts the immediate vicinity and Lia is in charge of mapmaking. Cael finds a large room ahead, with a small natural cavern barred and turned into a prison housing 3 disheveled humanoids. They beg to be released, fearing the orcs will eat them. Voli immediately gets to work hacking the wooden-barred door with her handaxe. Cael gets impatient and just picks the lock. The humans are eager to escape, but they do tell our heros about the orcs that are inhabiting the tower, and a huge one called “Ulphi”. They are shown the rope leading up the chimney, and they eagerly climb up. Unfortunately, one slips and breaks his neck as he falls back down.
They explore a tunnel off the big room, with Cael continuing to scout ahead, and find a big room filled with debris from the caravans they’ve raided. The southeast corner is a shallow well filled with murky water. Continuing on, there is a hallway of dressed and polished stone with big double doors to the right. Cael picks the lock and hears guttural noises beyond. Kolathe and Voli move up, with Cael and Lia behind, and together they throw open the doors. In the bunk and storage room, 4 orcs turn and roar a challenge to the intruders, and Kolathe roars right back.
Lia throws a fireball over Kolathe’s shoulder and singes one of the orcs. A second orc charges up, swinging at Voli and missing. Cael shoots at that orc from behind Voli, and it sticks. Voli swings her sword at the orc, barely hitting but managing to take it down. The third orc steps up to take its place, and like the one before it swings at Voli and misses. Kolathe snarls, breathing fire at both the first and fourth orc. The first dies screaming, and the fourth is lit afire but still manages to charge Kolathe, smacking him with his axe. Cael, still behind Voli and Kolathe, fires at the third orc and hits. Both of Kolathe’s swords slice deep into the fourth orc, bringing it down, and Voli finishes off the third.
All the orcs are defeated. Cael sneaks back down the hallway to scout it out, finding more debris. Voli and Kolathe search the room for valuables. Lia updates the map. Cael sees some stairs further down the corridor and to the left, going up. Kolathe finds an iron kettle full of gold and Voli finds a pouch with two topaz and a piece of onyx.
The team moves up carefully to meet with Cael, who sneaks ahead again. At the top of the stairs is a very large single door. Around the corner to the right (beyond the stairway to the left) are more double doors. The team discusses quietly and decides to clear out this level before moving up to the next. Peeking around the corner to the right they find the corridor ends abruptly at a large statue of a dwarf holding an axe in one hand and a hammer in the other. Cael eyes the statue but can’t find anything obviously wrong with it. He moves quietly to the double doors, when he feels a faint ‘click’ under his boot. The statue’s mouth opens and foul green gas gushes out, engulfing him. He feels very, very sick and staggers back to the team. Voli immediately lays hands upon him to heal him of the poison.
He goes back and marks that particular tile with chalk, steps around it, and listens at the doors. He doesn’t hear anything, so Lia turns into a direwolf and listens for anything beyond the doors. She hears multiple orc-y voices inside and taps her paw 5 times to let the others know how many she thinks she hears. She also smells other wolves up the stairs behind them. Cael carefully oils the door hinges to make them quieter. Behind him he hears a faint ‘click’ as the gas traps resets itself. He tries to disarm it but ends up setting it off again. He manages to move out of the way as the gas cloud belches forth, and after the gas dissipates but before the trap can reset he wedges it down with a shim from his burglar's kit. He slowly opens the oiled doors. The voices drown out the quiet squeak of the hinges. It’s a bunk room, with bunks, chairs, filthy pelts on the walls and floors, and debris filling the corners. Cael sees 5 orcs sitting on the bunks, talking and laughing. One is much larger than the others. Cael motions to the rest of the group to get ready, and positions his immovable rod horizontally at orc-shin height. He whispers the magic word and it stays. He notches a magic arrow and aims it at the fourth orc from the right. He fires, and turns to run before seeing that it hit.
He runs behind the rest of the team, turns with another arrow notched and fires a tricky shot through the door, and misses, hitting a bedpost. Kolathe fires a similar shot with his crossbow and also misses. Voli waits for the orcs to charge out. The first orc runs out the door and trips over the rod, as does the 5th. The third manages to jump over the rod, run around the corner, and attacks Voli wildly with his axe. He misses, and Voli counters with a successful slice from her sword. The second orc also jumps over the rod. Lia Direwolfskin leaps over her companions onto the pile of tripped orcs, scratching and biting, but the armor gets in her way. The fourth orc runs to the doorway and sinks a javelin into Lia’s back.
Cael moves up next to Voli and stabs the third orc through the throat with his rapier. He quickly disengages and moves back again. Voli moves up and and hits the second orc. The first orc (the orug), manages to move out from under Lia, stands, and swings wildly at the direwolf. He misses, and impales the fifth orc who was still prone. The fifth orc manages to stand up and tries to attack Lia, but misses due to blood loss. Lia growls and snaps at the orug, but her teeth slide off his armor. One of Kolathe’s swords sinks into the second orc, who take another swing at Voli but misses.
Cael steps up and stabs at the second orc, but fumbles and stabs Voli in the back. He quickly reaches for a healing potion and pours it over the wound before she can really process what just happened. The orug continues to attack Lia, dealing massive damage. Her direwolf form cannot handle the damage and she reverts back to an elf. The fourth orc throws a javelin at the direwolf, but misses as she shrank to an elf. The fifth is befuddled as the direwolf becomes an elf. The second swings at Cael and misses. Kolathe finishes him with both swords. Voli moves up next to Lia and attacks the orug, but misses. Lia casts ‘hold person’ on the orug.
Voli uses searing smite and hit the orug, lighting him on fire. Kolathe adds his swords to Voli’s, and cuts deep into the orug. The orug, with a massive bearing of will, breaks free of the hold person and puts out the fire. Cael shifts left and fires an arrow into the orug’s shoulder. It screams for guards. Lia throws a fireball at it’s face, and it burns to death. The fourth orc grabs its greataxe, stepping over the immovable rod. He swings at Kolathe and misses. The door at the top of the stairs opens, releasing direwolves and an ogre.