ACK or Die! Session 8, Not Exactly Planned

Hi Pop,

We were raiding a mine captured by orcs last time I wrote.   Things went well overall, for us.

The guys searched the room we just killed some orcs in, while Goraj and I waited out in the hall.  Good thing we did, we saw a troop of orcs coming toward us in patrol.  It would’ve been bad if we’d been surprised, but Goraj and I just tore into ’em.

You said orcs were pretty tough, but apart from a few bigger ones these mostly weren’t so hard… maybe this sword is better than I thought.  Within seconds we killed four and the other two surrendered.  The other guys came out of the room they were searching, drawn by the noise, and found us standing over the two survivors.  Vesper went to question them, and wanted to intimidate them a little first.

“We only need one of you who talks, so…”

TWANG!

Nobody remembered to take the crossbow away from the goblin.  Nailed one of the orcs square in the face.  “Reload please?”

I know you don’t trust goblins, Pop.  I’m starting to like this one, and I think he realizes that even if he survives shooting one of us, nobody will reload his favorite toy.  It’s not that I trust him, exactly, so much as I think he doesn’t want to ruin a good thing for himself.

“… okay, now we need this one a little more than we did.”

They trussed him up and dragged him into the room we were just in, then questioned him.  Then gagged him and threw him into a handy mine cart in case we needed him later, and Curio decided to give him something to think about and poured some really harsh moonshine that we’d found on him.  This is important later.

Remember that magic catseye gem we found?  Vesper rolled it down the hallway and learned that the rooms off the hall had about a dozen orcs of various sizes, and the room on the end had some more that were watching two humans fighting for their entertainment.

The guys started talking about how to go room to room trying to be sneaky and stealthy and hoping we could isolate them, when I pointed out that the orcs were pretty easy to kill, and if we got themall out at once we could just get this over with.  Curio and Vesper still had some spells left, so if it went worse than I expected they could use spells to help out without wasting so much magic.

I got ready to start shouting insults down the hallway to call the orcs out.  I remember you saying their word for themselves means ‘hard skin’ or something, so I was going to start with something about soft-skinned cowards who didn’t have mothers because they each had two fathers who took turns being ‘mommy’… when someone mentioned that if we set the other orc on fire he could probably make even more noise, so they wheeled him out in the cart, told him what was coming and cut his gag off.

That’s when I realized — orc in a cart, orc going to be on fire…and the cart was on rails that went all down the hallway.  I got Goraj to give me a hand, and after they set the orc on fire we pushed the cart and ran it down the hallway.

I think we got everyone’s attention.  We fought our way back and in the end all the orcs were dead.  And the two pit fighters, it seems one was standing on the tracks when the burning cart full of screaming flaming orc ran him over, the other died fighting for his freedom against the other orcs in the room.

Pretty effective for a plan we made up as we went.  You always did say a good warrior is always ready to take advantage of his surroundings and use what’s available to be more effective.

After that we went down a ladder into the mine proper.  Killed some orcs who were training, killed some overseers who were making miners work and helped the miners escaped, killed some more orcs working in a kitchen of some kind… though I don’t want to think about what they were cooking.

It turns out the orcs were all led by an ogre.  We got to where the ogre was and he was surrounded by orcs.  Vesper cast a spell on them and they all fell asleep, then we killed the ogre.  He hit me a little, I hit him a lot, that sort of thing, until he was dead.  The goblin went kind of nuts for a little while, I don’t speak goblin but he sounded really excited and angry while he killed the sleeping orcs.

Rescued some more miners, then looted the place to the stone.  Hangrist wants the sword the ogre was using, I think I might be spending some time with him on sword work.

We went in to rescue some miners, but the other rewards were pretty good.  A fair amount of coin, some gems, a magic greatsword, and some pieces of… some kind of magic rock stuff.

Anyway, we’re off to the castle.  Say hi to the rest of the family for me.

James

ACK or Die! Session 7, Orcs and Crossbows

Hi Pop,

Not much to say today and I’m in a bit of a hurry, we’re in a mine with some orcs.

We left the village and took a ferry… ten gold a head to cross the water, and the same for the horses!  Ah well, we were still ahead on the game, so I’m not too worried about it.

After we crossed the water we found an old man being chased by orcs shooting crossbows at him.  Curio and Vesper put them to sleep using magic, and Vesper killed four of them.

I know it’s ‘not sporting’, Pop.  Neither is five orcs chasing one unarmed and unarmored old man and shooting crossbows at him.

They tied up the leader and questioned him.  When they didn’t need him any more they decided to kill him.

Turns out the goblin picked up one of the loaded crossbows while we weren’t looking.  He did a good job shooting the orc before the orc knew what was happening, then asked me to reload the crossbow for him.

I know, I know, “can’t trust a gobbo”.  I’m not too worried about it, to be honest.  If he shoots the wrong person, not only does he stand a chance of being killed on the spot, I won’t reload the crossbow for him.

And he likes that crossbow.

The old man told us about some mines where the orcs had come in and captured everyone, then put them to work.  We decided to check it out and see if we can rescue them.

So, I’m in a mine right now and we just killed some orcs.  I’ll have to continue this later.

James.

ACK or Die! Session 6, Suspicion and Exploration

Hi Pop,

Vesper figured that the stories we’d been told about the village problems might not be true.  The dragon ate the girls I told you about, so how could they be the ghouls bothering the village?  He also thinks the crypt we were exploring was there for a long time before the dragon came around.  He talked with the village elder and told them the village curse probably has nothing to do with the dragon.  If they get enough money he’ll try to find a priest to remove the curse.

I don’t really understand it.  They had a problem with ghouls, we killed ghouls.  The problem should be solved.

We went back to the crypt to explore some more.  We went through the crypt and into the caves. We find and fought a big metal snake.  The bites burned, turns out they were poisoned.

I am really starting to hate poison.  We smashed the snake.

We explored some more and found rooms with different kinds of elements.  A room full of lava that we didn’t explore because it was really hot and dangerous.  We went another way and found a room full of water with a big bridge, where we were attacked by a bunch of mudmen.  We were outnumbered, but knew that Goraj wouldn’t want to back down.  They weren’t so tough as we thought they might be.  Vesper went over the bridge and explored a bit, found a little cave with another of those stone spiders I told you about last time.  No big deal.

We followed the cave out into another hall with a room where we found another coffin.

Of course we looked in it.  Plugged our noses first this time, though, no way did I want to smell something like that last coffin.

Just some dead guy with some stuff.  Took the stuff.  Curio said it looked like he was trying to turn into some kind of undead wizard thing, so we threw the body into the lava before we left.

I think we’re off to Blackmarsh soon.  Vesper really wants to go talk with the elves, and he might be able to find a priest there to help the villagers.

James

ACK or Die! Session 5, Ghastly Stuff and Going Deeper

Hey Pop,

Last I told you, we were back in the village.  Well, we went back to the catacomb place and searched around some more.  Found a room with some crystal statues, and you were right again — mess with things like that, they’ll come alive and try to kill you.  We smashed ’em up right quick, and it looks like their eyes were gems of some kind, so we kept ’em.

A bit of searching found a hidden door.  I, uh, kind of broke it opening it, seems it was supposed to slide to the side, not get pushed straight in.  Ah well, it’ll be easy to find it next time.

Big coffin in there, some gold tracing on the lid.  It was locked, but as you told me as a kid, people don’t usually lock up worthless stuff.  You were right, there was some valuable stuff in there, a magic ring and this magic spear, good against undead.

I forgot something, though.  People also lock up stuff they don’t want getting out.  When I pulled the lid open this horrible stench came out and knocked some of us on our asses, puking our guts out.  Just as well Curio and Vesper hung back, they managed to kill whatever it was before it got out.

After that we went down some stairs we’d found and were in this big room with a pool of ice across the middle.  There was a broken-down bridge, but there were some kind of ice monsters.  We killed one of ’em, held the other three off with burning oil, and kept going.  That room led into a cave with a couple of big rock spider things.  They took some big chunks out of Goraj, but he was okay until we got back to town.

He’s still looking for some magic armor.  It’s weird, he’s getting upset that he’s not getting any magic items, but he’s saying there’s no real point in taking any of the ones we’ve found because he won’t use ’em.

Can you ask around Brighton and see if there’s any way to find some magic plate mail or a magic great helmet or a ring or magic gloves or magic fangs or something?  He doesn’t use weapons, so everybody else has been ending up with them.

Hope to be home soon, maybe in a week or two.

James.

ACK or Die! Session 4, Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls

Hey Pop,

I can’t talk long, we’re in the middle of something here.

After we got back from purging the goblin hall we hung around Brighton for a little while we rested up.  Goraj held that big festival he was planning with all the fighting, I did a bit of shopping — got myself a warhorse, a better helmet, and some other gear, including a silvered spear.

Yeah, yeah, looks frivolous, but after finding that silvered dagger and thinking about the stories you told me, if we run into werewolves or something I want a weapon that’ll hurt them without having to get too close to them.

We hired a couple of the boys who wanted to get out of town and see a bit of the world.  We want someone to help watch over the camp and our horses when we have to do stuff.  We’re headed down to the castle where the elves took over, I think Vesper wants to talk to them, and I could do with some more travel, so I can get to know my horse.

We got to a little town, I forget the name, where they’ve got a ferry across to the peninsula so we don’t have to slog too far through swamp.  They used to have a dragon problem until they managed to kill it.

I’m not really happy about how they did it.  It was effective, I won’t disagree with that, but it wasn’t very good.  Maybe it was the best they could do under the circumstances.

In the meantime, they’ve got a problem with ghouls right now, and have hired us to check that out.  So far we’ve killed four, including one I ended up cutting in half with a coffin lid…

Well, you said a good warrior is adaptable.  I was pulling the lid off a coffin we thought might have something in it when a ghoul tried to jump out.  Goraj and Vesper hit it, I had a heavy coffin lid in my hands so I tried to pin it with the lid by sliding it shut again.  I guess I pushed too hard.

We just found a room with a hidden area in it with a couple of big red suits of armor.  Curio says they aren’t magic, but they look impressive.  I think I want one of them, but I remember that story you told me about the cursed armor… I think I’ll wait until I can have Father Oran take a look too.

James.