Borderland of Adventure #36: Burn it All!

At the end of the last session we left our heroes atop Xul-Jarak’s battlements having breached the fortress without too much trouble.



Moments later, orcs emerged from the doorway ahead of them and archers began to fire (ineffectually) from the keep’s balcony. Oreal traded shafts with the archers while Zatag, Brabk and Hemgor faced the orcish warriors. Several of the party suffered flesh wounds, but the orcs were quickly slain. As this battle was winding down, orc archers – finally aware of the party – emerged from the gatehouse behind them and shot arrows across the courtyard at the party. Most missed, but Alkk – concerned at the sheer volume of arrows being fired – cast obscuring mist. A few moments later two raging orc barbarians emerged from the stairway behind the PCs, but were cut down after a few rounds of combat.

While Brabk and Zatag finished off the barbarians, the rest of the party advanced to the doorway through which the orc warriors had emerged to hear a human shouting “Burn it all, they are within the walls.” fearing vital evidence that might shed light on who in Ratik had been helping the orcs was being destroyed – the party charged into the doorway and down stairs into Xul-Jarak’s throne room. There they saw several orc warriors led by a huge orc (that Oreal identified as Thrull’s bother) wielding a longspear and one of the archers from earlier. A human female – quickly revealed as a cleric – also stood in the room.

A door behind the cleric was open and through it the party could smell the stench of burning. Hemgor, immediately turned around – rushed across the battlements and down another set of stairs thus bypassing the orcs. He reached a small room, within which a human warrior was busily burning documents. Hemgor knocked over the brazier – scattered burning papers everywhere – and then engaged the man in battle.

Meanwhile, Oreal had been badly wounded by the longspear-wielding orc and the party were sorely pressed. However, Vilimzair chose this moment to hurl a fireball into the room which injured many of the warriors (but not the two orc leaders who seemed to completely dodge the flames!) Party numbers quickly began to tell, however. Although Tzaran and his ape companion were badly injured the orc warriors were quickly slain while Brabz slew the female cleric.

As the party rushed into the room the orc archer was badly injured and fled – although later he was to severely injure Zatag with his last two arrows – and the orc leader was quickly surrounded. Although the warrior was very difficult to hit, weight of numbers eventually began to tell and now fighting alone, he retreated. In the corridor, the human warrior had forced Hemgor back into the throne room. Seeing his companion dead, he turned and ran back up onto the battlements. Meanwhile, suffering from multiple injuries – and near death – the orc’s leader drank a potion of invisibility and disappeared…

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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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