Seven Sins of Alterone

Caravan of Secrets

A new kind of orc?

The mood at the dock was tense for a moment, as the inhabitants of Trebizond were confused. Daxis activated his swarm of insects and, with his eyes glowing, commanded everyone to run. Which they did. The citizens of Trebizond panicked and scurried away, while the orcs on guard were confused. Do they need to take orders from Anaeus now? Watching all of this from the local bar, Korg and his caravan mates, Elee and Pell, were watching with excitement. Pell slipped away out of sight, which Korg saw, but paid no attention to it, reading his “Speel Buk” to prepare his spells for the next day. Korg asked Elee what was wrong. The female orc’s jaw was practically on the floor, her body frozen in place.

Montgomery went up to the huddle of orcs to listen in on their conversation while a very portly man waddled his way down from the dock offices. It was Gant, the owner and manager of the docks. Gant was a very fat man and short man wearing gauche necklaces and gaudy rings. He demanded to know what all the commotion was about. Daxis simply turned to him, eyes glowing, demanding that he leave immediately. Gant fell backwards in terror, pleading for his existence. The merchant ran back into the office. Montgomery went to talk to the orcs to convince them to leave, which was aided by Daxis commanding them to obey his orders. Orcs love taking orders, so they packed their things and left.

Daxis went into the office of the docks, because Gant had clearly not gone in the direction of “out of here” and wanted to see what the merchant was up to. Gant had unlatched a secret door and was busy stuffing his worldly possessions in a sack. Daxis reiterated his desire for Gant to leave, and Gant hurriedly left, leaving a trail of gold pieces and gems behind him as he bungled getting his sack of valuables over his back. Meanwhile, Korg had exited the bar as Elee seemed to be interested in talking with Daxis, but was too afraid to approach. Korg met Montgomery, and they had a rousing conversation about intricate and detailed legal philosophies. Montgomery invited Korg to join the party, saying they could use a man of Korg’s ability. After all, Korg had introduced himself as the greatest orc sorcerer alive. Korg reminded Montgomery that he was under contract with the merchant caravan, and that he very well couldn’t leave his job. Montgomery looked at the contract, which was basically a standard orc contract that indemnifies the merchant owning the caravan from any accidental disembowelment, and Montgomery simply declared the contract null and void, and tore the contract to shreds. Korg was fascinated with this new concept

Daxis walked back outside. He and Aeros had searched Gant’s office and found his ledger. It appeared that the caravan had been having some problems. The wheels on the wagons were mysteriously removed from the wagons, which meant they had to be prepared. Add to that the freakish inclement weather, and the caravan had been waylaid. Half the goods were sent with the first ferry, and the other half of the goods would be sent tomorrow morning. As Daxis walked down from the office back into the main area, Elee approached him. She wished to speak with “Lord Anaeus” alone. Daxis led her back up into the office. Satisfied with himself, Daxis kicked up his feet on the desk and leaned back, arrogant grin on his face. Elee fell on bent knee, and asked lord Anaeus had he come personally to oversee the delivery of “the item” from Lord Wrath? Daxis played along, and said yes. Elee seemed miffed that apparently she alone wasn’t trustworthy enough to oversee the operation, but did not wish to question “Lord Anaeus.” Daxis commanded Elee to leave, saying that he would take over things from here. Elee acquiesced, and left Trebizond.

Alone, the party decided to check out the warehouse and see what was in the shipment. All of the doors into the warehouse were locked shut. Korg decided to cast one of his “spells.” Screaming “Knock!” Korg managed to punch down a solid steel door and break one of its hinges. The party easily found where the crates of the shipment were kept. Korg tried desperately to remember “C6,” but could only get the 6 down. Aeros rolled his eyes, shipment ledger in hand, and pointed out where the crates were. Opening up the crates, the group found several magic items. Jorn, the merchant who owned the caravan, had hired a group of 3 treasure hunters to track down magic items and then give them to Jorn to sell them off. While Daxis was rummaging through the stuff, Korg tried to warn him that a shadowing figure wielding a rapier was creeping up behind him. The figure screamed “Your head will bring me great glory, you fiend, Anaeus!” The figure slashed Daxis across the back. Korg took his club from his back, and screamed “Summon Lump!” bashing his enemy over the head twice. Korg looked up, and saw his companion Pell, lying on the ground, blood streaming from her head.

The party relented. Daxis took out one of his hand axes and brandished it in Pell’s face. Korg asked what Pell was doing here. “My name isn’t Pell, it’s Nea.” Montgomery leaned in as well, playing the good cop. Nea revealed she was a member of the resistance, and had smuggled gunpowder on to the merchant caravan to be delivered to Kerfalazud. The gunpowder was necessary because K’rash, the orc who had led the initial invasion of Pride, was planning something big, and Greed was next. If Nea had to lay down money, she would pick Kerfalazud as the first site of military action. Daxis pointed out to her that they were sent by the resistance, so why would the resistance send people to attack a caravan with stuff they were smuggling on it? Daxis just went back to checking what goodies there were in the cargo, while the rest of the party conversed for awhile. The next ferry wasn’t scheduled to arrive until the next morning, so the party figure it would be best to get some rest. Daxis instructed Anlon, Dolvion, and Acedia to put all of the goods on a wagon and head back to Kerfalazud, they’d catch up later.

Rest would have been nice, had the ferry not left from the northern shores early and arrived in the evening. Aeros was the first to spot the ferry and alerted the rest of the party that they should put their plan into motion. The ferry docked, and M’ruth, the caravan leader, was barking orders at the goblins below to start unloading. The party positioned themselves to lie in wait, while the goblins unwittingly opened the dock bay doors, setting off a carefully laid trap made by Daxis, causing the gunpowder kegs next to the bay doors to explode, spreading fire and oil across the dock. The party got the jump on their adversaries, and battle ensued.

Korg and M’ruth clashed axes in battle, sparks flying as they landed blows that would have killed a lesser being. Korg also got to show off his spell, “magic missile,” which is a javelin he painted purple. Montgomery got off some biting remarks (to no avail) and also managed to break his crossbow. Daxis and Aeros took out one of the treasure hunters, a heavily armored fighter, while Korg took out the wizard Theo. Nea stayed on the roof and picked off adversaries with her crossbow. After the battle was won, the last treasure hunter, Anya, was allowed to go free, after she dragged herself from the river when she tried to run away from Montgomery (of all people).

The party made its way on to the ferry. There were a few goblins running about, but they were not going to get in Daxis’ way. After some searching, the party found some more magic weapons, loot, and of course, tons of gunpowder the resistance had smuggled in. Daxis found a large crate in an area that didn’t necessarily belong to the caravan, but was written in the same handwriting. He figured it was someone who didn’t want their goods linked with the caravan. Opening the box, Daxis and the party were astounded to see a red orc in a glass case. “Orcs come in black and green,” admitted Korg. The body seemed to be lifeless. Inside the box were some alchemical ingredients, one of the most notable being Arathol root, which Aeros noted in the cargo manifest. Arathol root, according to Anlon, was a very rare plant that only grows in the northern part of Gluttony.

Daxis tried to burn the creature with fire. It seemed to have no effect. Korg picked up one of the hands and played with it, saying “See? He is dead? There is nothing…” and immediately the hand grasped Korg and flung him like a rag doll into a pile of crates. Aeros began to smell smoke, and noticed that a fire had broken out. The party ran from the boat like mad, and Montgomery and Aeros were able to come out unscatched, but Daxis and Korg were not so lucky. Aeros looked up, and saw the flaming bodies of Korg and Daxis shooting through the air like meteors above, landing straight on the docks. Korg willed himself up out of unconsciousness, while Daxis was barely hanging on. Montgomery turned and saw the orc emerging from the flaming wreckage of the ship, literally on fire, it’s wounds healing even as the flames consumed it. The party decided it’d be best to find some horses and run away as fast as possible. The party found a pack of horses and got on, but Montgomery couldn’t get his to move. The red orc emerged, and from its hand a beam of red energy sprung forth, burning Montgomery and flinging him off his horse. The red orc fired another beam, narrowly missing Aeros, but was so hot that the gravel and dirt had turned into glass. Korg ran by and picked up Montgomery and flung him on the back of the horse, and turned to leave when none other than Elee and the orc guards from the pier were in front of their escape path.

Daxis took whatever was left of his Wrath uniform and flung it to the ground. Elee screamed “YOU TRICK ME! KILL THEM ALL!” The party began high tailing it out of the other side of the town, dodging a hail of arrows. The red orc turned on the other orcs, burning them alive, melting flesh from bone. The party used the opportunity to escape, and rode for an hour until they could find a small clearing. The party set up camp and rested. Nea was angry that not only did the gunpowder on the boat get destroyed, but also the gunpowder in the warehouse was left on a wagon back at the docks. Daxis just glared at her before going to sleep. The party rested shortly in the glade, until leaving to go meet back up with their compatriots, and possibly deal with whatever horrors the red orc might conjure.

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yithril

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