Gatavia III, episode 8

Session/Game: ACKS/Gatavia III #8 Date: December 15, 2013
Episode 8: “Orc Killing 101”
Campaign Date: July 1st to July 14th, AY 1430
Pontifex Amicus, human, cleric-3, neutral (Andrew)
Louise Impetuous, human, fighter-1, neutral (henchman)
Rotwang, human, barbarian-3, neutral (Bob)
Ulrich the Torchboy, human, level-0 (henchman)
Beef Johnson, human, level-0 (henchman)
Split-tongue, elf enchanter-3, neutral (Marlon)
Tavish Furley, half-elf, shaman (druid)-1, neutral (henchman)
Sammy the Wagon Master, level-0 (henchman)
Brutus, human, level-0 (henchman)
Murderface Jack, dwarf fury-3, neutral (Jason)
Cassandra, human, explorer-1, neutral (henchman)
Brother Punchy, human, mystic-3, neutral (Chuck)
Wilhelm the Warlock, human, warlock-1 (henchman)

Judge: Dave

Encounter 1: There Wolves—July 1st Skull Mountain
Re-entering Skull mountain, they pass through level one, surprising 2 werewolves who had moved into the vacancy. Wilhelm summoned some chaos monkeys to attack them. Brother Punchy shot one with a silver arrow, which Rotwang then grabbed and yanked around injuring the beast severely. Murderface then finished it off with a bash from his magic shield. Pontifex Amicus used a fear spell to chase off the second werewolf.

Encounter 2: Orc Chief Razzmatazz—July 1st Skull Mountain
The Skull Collectors then climbed down the great stairway to level 3, entering the throne room of the orc chief Razzmatazz. Murderface and Rotwang rush in, and get cut off from the rest of the party, who hold at the door. The Orc witchdoctor Wumbo sprays the party with illusionary arrows, causing temporary damage to them all. Murderface begins a long fight with an ogre champion and 2 of the orc chief’s bodyguards, which ends with Murdeface being hacked down. Wumbo charms Rotwang, but since he can’t speak to him, it just prevents Rotwang from attacking the witchdoctor. Split-tongue manages to save the day, by putting a choke spell on the Chief, and then turning him into a sheep, with the last charge from the polymorph wand. The bodyguards and witchdoctor flee, and Rotwang manages to drag Murderface to safety. Of the chief, 8 bodyguards, ogre, witchdoctor and 6 crossbow orcs, the collectors only manage to kill 3 bodyguards and 1 crossbow guy, plus the chief finally dies from the choke spell while in sheep form. Brother Punchy tends to Murderface’s injuries, and when some of the damage proves illusionary, he makes a quick recovery.
Despite killing the chief, the Skull Collectors realize they are far too beaten up to continue clearing the orc army from the third level. They climb back up the stairs and return to the manor house to rest.

Encounter 3: An interlude July 2nd to July 11th Skull Manor and Portchester
While the wounded Skull Collectors rest at the manor, Split-tongue takes a bodyguard of 4 crossbowmen and travels to Portchester to recruit henchmen and buy supplies. He hires a level-0 soldier named Brutus and Sammy the wagon-master for himself. He also hires Beef Johnson for Rotwang and rehires Cassandra the Explorer for Murderface.

Encounter 4: Death to Dungeon Poachers, Skull Mountain, July 12
The Skull Collectors reenter the first level of the dungeon, and as they approach the stairs, they encounter another party. These prove to be a pair of Curate of the Hell Snake and 8 brigands on a mission from Dengwur’s Fortress. Negotiations break down in short order, and battle commences. The curates use fear spells to make Murderface and Rotwang flee in terror down the stairs. The rest of the Collectors follow, until Amicus nullifies the spells on the fighters. Returning up the stairs, the Skull Collectors inflict a savage beat-down on the other party, killing 5 brigands and both curates. The remaining 3 brigands surrender and grovel for their lives, but the Collectors kill them after a short debate.
With all their heal spells exhausted, the party decides to return to the manor and try again the next day.

Encounter 5: Through the Mouth, Take 1, Skull Mountain, July 13
Bright and early the next morning, the crew returns to Skull Mountain. After Louise Impetuous badgers them constantly to do so, the party decides to enter the orc lair through the Mouth Entrance of the mountain, rather than climbing down the stairs again.
Split-tongue’s sleep spell knocks out 15 orcs guarding the main entrance, and Punchy and Murderface kill sub-chief Splatzz. The outer guards being defeated, the party enters the tunnel and are met by a phalanx of 9 orcs with spears who hold the tunnel long enough for the alarm to sound. Faced by a horde of orcs, ogres and pigdawgs who are waiting for the party to enter the 4-way intersection near the entrance, the Skull Collectors decide to withdraw for the day.

Encounter 6: Through the Mouth, Take 2, Skull Mountain, July 14
Returning in the morning, they overcome a small party of orcs and pigdawgs at the entry cave. Rushing inwards they begin a protracted battle with the pack of Pigdawgs at the intersection. Split-tongue uses a Stinking Cloud to isolate the pigdawgs from the orcs and ogres and to incapacitate the deadly beasts. The party wipes out the pigdawgs, but are strained of resources. After considering another ignominious retreat, they break out their supply of potions to heal up, and Murderface and Rotwang take Growth potions to increase their killing power. The two neo-giants wade into the ogres, with the rest of the party backing them up with spears and holding off the orcs in the side passages. Eventually, the enlarged pair defeat the deadly Ogre chief and his 4 underlings, and the rest of the party defeats the orcs. Murderface is beaten into unconsciousness by the Ogres in the process, and Beef Johnson has one of his ears badly crushed by an orc attack. The party loots a decent amount of gold from the Ogres, but is in no condition to hunt down the witchdoctor and the other remnants of the Orc army in the level. They leave, vowing to return soon to properly mop-up and loot the level. They do discover that the Ogre chief’s morning star is of +1 enchantment, and has a strange appearance, each of its 8 flanges having the shape of a snake’s head in profile.