Princes of the Apocalypse

Dellmon Ranch pt. 2

Cutting the Head Off of the Snake

  1.  Planning Stages
  2.  Assassination
  3.  Raid Aftermath

Planning Stages

The party spent the next 3 hours after the initial ork wave to rig the forge and the barn with oil traps in hopes to engulf them in flame should they press through.  A shallow pit was dug in front of the main gate leading out of the compound where tiger traps were installed to also slow down and wound the orcs as they would eventually press into the compound.

A discussion was had as to whether or not the party should go after the Ork Chief Torzu or not.  Most of the party members did not believe that Jorth, the orog, would be any easier to deal with, but Milpot argued for the plan, believing that killing the orc chief would sue discord within the ranks until a new leader had emerged.  

While this discussion was taking place, the smell of campfire drifted into the compound as large fires to the north were being set and the slight breeze brought the smoke down the valley towards the farmstead.  Scores of orcs could be seen setting fires to every bush and tree and even the open grass was being lit, so that a wall of smoke descended onto the compound, limiting the vision of anyone inside the smoke.

Prior to leaving, the party set about instructing where the defenders needed to be.  The scouts and archers were placed back onto the roof with the commoners and the guardsmen down below and around the house to limit the orcs from entering the house where the noncombatants were being kept.  The two dwarves, Branikan and Stowal were tasked with maintaining the traps on the forge and barn and instructed to wait to spring their fire traps until the greatest number of orcs had entered it.  Sensing the futility of the defense, the dwarves stoically clasped wrists with each other and wished their brother luck.

Assassination

The party left the house as the compound became engulfed in smoke.  Trusting in Axel's ability to lead them through the smoke, the party made their way quietly through the grass and listened as the sounds of orcs tromping through the countryside indicated that the 2nd raid of the compound was underway.  Coming out of the smoke, the party found themselves roughly 60 ft. downhill form the orc chief Torzu, an Eye of Grummsh advisor, and two heavily armored bodyguards armed with spears and tower shields.

The orc leadership seemed to have their attention in the direction that the raid was taking place, so that the party was initially unseen.  Breaking from cover, Milpot led the attack up the hill, pausing to cast Tasha's Hideous Laughter on the orc chief, causing him to fall prone with a bout of insane laughter.  Valeria followed suit by running up the hill, pausing to cast her witch bolt spell striking the Eye of Grummsh in the chest, leaving a smoking wound.  Idra, refusing to dismount from Griffin Bane, led the charge past the party's spell casters and attacked the western most bodyguard while bouncing uncomfortably on his horse blanket.  Axel fired arrows into Torzu's advisor (Eye of Grummsh), Grick dashed most of the way up the hill, wishing that his medium size stature was a little more on the 'large-end'.  Merrick brought up the rear by striking the advisor with a Guiding Bolt damaging the Eye of Grummsh and causing the orc to real in pain from the party's surprise round.

Initiatives were rolled and the party succeeded in grasping the initiative.  Milpot moved up into melee range with his pole arm, Valeria stayed slightly behind using her witch bolt to strike from afar.  Idra leapt from his horse to fight the western body guard with sword and headbutt.  With a cry of "Attack, Griffin Bane," Idra managed his Animal Handling check which the draft horse reacted to by sitting back onto his haunches while chewing the dry valley grass.  Axel finally cherry picked Shagog the Eye of Grummsh with an arrow to the temple.  After striking the orc in the head, Shagog's body was ensnared with creeping vines that sprung from the Ranger's arrow, holding the inert body fast to the ground. Grick called down divine inspiration onto his axe and sang chants to the dwarven gods as he continued to miss the eastern bodyguard.  Merrick also advanced on the eastern guard trying to give Grick some aid, but both were rebuffed by the bodyguard's skill with the tower shield.

On the third round of combat, Torzu finally broke from the control of Milpot's spell and rose.  Shagog lay dead, and Torzu's 2 bodyguards were close to death.  Idra lay unconscious in front of the orc he had fought as Griffin Bane continued to sit on his haunches and eat as the chaos around him continued.  

The party was fortunate that their initial rounds were such a success.  Once Torzu rose, he rallied his bodyguards who were now staggering on their feet.  One was brought down before he could act, but the other bodyguard continued to dish out pain to Grick and Merrick both.  Beset upon by 4 party members, the eastern bodyguard was dishing out damage and parrying attacks with is massive shield.  Torzu managed to dish out 32 points of damage to Milpot in two rounds, forcing Milpot to disengage and pull back from combat while the party just hammered the orc chief for a full two rounds with spells and physical attacks before finally bringing Torzu to rest. 

Looking amongst themselves at disbelief in how hard it was for the orc chief to fall, the party removed the Torzu's head and hid it in a random tent in hopes of causing more dissent within the ranks.  The party found a number of works of art that had caught the orc's eyes while they raided and a few items that resonated as being magical with Milpot's spell.  

Torzus Treasures

Raid Aftermath

The party returned after hearing the orcish horns blair, calling the orc raid off.  Once again, the orcs tended to hit the compound for only a few rounds before withdrawling back away.  The compound was in ruins.  The forge and barn both were still on fire from the dwarves action.  The smell of burnt flesh filled the air and the party saw that the doors and windows to the main house had been broken.

Nervous cries of alarms welcomed them as the survivors finally noticed that the figures coming through the smoke was actually the party members and not another orcish sorte.  Erned met them in front of the house, he was wounded and his eyes expressed the sadness that he tried not to show.  He shared with the party that both dwarves perished in the raids, they were not able to retreat back into the safety of the house once their traps were lit, they fought together in the yard, the house defenders unable to get out to assist them.  Kerbin Dellmon, the patriarch of the Dellmon family also had perished.  The orcs had managed to breach the house and he had moved to keep an orc from exiting with a young child in tow.  Kerbin was brought down with one of the heavy orc axes, his breast plate doing little to shrug off a head wound.  Flameran Verminbane, the halfling scout and associate of the elves of High Forest, also met his demise.  He had been pierced by numerous javelins while on the roof trying to shoot down the advancing orcs as they descended onto the compound.  Flameran's small body did little to shrug off the orc axes as a few of them had climbed up onto the roof to deal with the archers in hand to hand combat.  There were other deaths as well.  Some of the dead and a couple of the living had been captured and taken away with the orcs upon their retreat.  The news of the orc chief's death was a surprise, but the party could see that, at least in the eyes of the survivors, that the price of one orc's head did little to counter the loss to the families here within the compound.

The sun began to set and the survivors could only imagine what the night would bring.

 

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mchossman

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