Borderland of Adventure #19: Beyond the Gate

At the end of last session, the party were cautiously approaching the abandoned hold of Khundrukar by traversing a weathered and eroded dwarven road as it spiralled up a rocky hill known locally as The Stone Tooth.

BoA

 

Sadly, Klara was about as silent as a marching dwarf trying to attract attention and as they climbed higher the party saw two orcs running around a corner shouting an alarm. The party gave chase and were immediately shot at by more orcs lurking behind concealed arrow slits. This barrage of arrows slowed the party considerably as they briefly backtracked before sneaking forward below the arrow slits. Climbing some weathered steps of obvious dwarven construct they came to the head of the trail and discovered a set of of double stone doors leading into the hill. The doors were ajar and the party advanced.

Beyond, they came to a hall rent by a great chasm. An old rope bridge hung across the chasm and on the other side, two orc archers immediately began shooting at the intruders. As they party spread out, Kemmo started to slowly cross the rope bridge while Belivar rode his pet across the chasm to engage one of the orcs. Sadly for him, as he did so a door at the other end of the room opened and another five orcs burst into the chamber. As he retreated, Kemmo was struck by an arrow and fell, but managed to grab onto the rope bridge to stop himself plummeting into the chasm below.

With that, Kemmo decided to retreat and crawl back along the bridge, In the meantime, Adoven had discovered a secret door and Krorz investigated what lay beyond. He stumbled around a corner to discover an orc who struck him a mighty blow with his greataxe. Krorz responded and the orc fell dead – decapitated in one massive blow. Sadly, however, the passageway led to nothing but a dead end chamber containing one of the arrow slits the party had been shot at before.

Back in the entrance hall, stalemate ensued. The party didn’t seem very keen to advance across the rope bridge and the orcs were content to hurl javelins and shoot arrows at the intruders. With no realistic hopes of success, the party retreated out of the hall and back down the hillside before returning to the tomb they had discovered the day before.

There they rested and plotted.

The next day, they returned to the Stone Tooth, but this time effected a much stealthier approach. Using a silence spell, they managed to get all the way to Khundrukar without being detected. Sadly, though the front doors were barred. However, Klara used her wand of bull strength and a crowbar to force the doors open in an impressive display of strength.  Of course, the orcs had been expecting their return and again a spirited archery duel developed. However, as the battle raged on, a hitherto unknown secret door opened and three orc warriors charged forth. One struck Krorz a mighty blow, but the others were quickly cut down by Belivar and Kemmo. With no way across the rope bridge, some of the party investigated what lay beyond the secret door while the others kept an eye on the orcs from the safety of the secret passageway.

Krorz and Kemmo discovered an empty hallway, illuminated by the light coming through the arrow slits overlooking the dwarven road. At the end of the area was an empty room, but Krorz’s eagle eyes spotted a secret door in one wall. Beyond lay a large bunkroom – luckily empty at the moment.

While Krorz investigated (and found some minor treasure), the orcs in the main chamber decided to try and sneak across the rope bridge. Klara spotted them and quickly rushed out to cut the rope bridge down. One orc fell from the bridge as it collapsed falling into the chasm below while the other clung on even after it slammed into the other wall of the chasm. With their rear secured, the party moved into the barracks to continue their explorations…

Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

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