Following the battle on the edge of the dam, many of the companions felt spent. So it was decided the a few of our heroes would creep forward to see what other dangers might lie ahead.
Boomah, Dremahl, Saerin and the dwarf Corbel were chosen to scout. They quickly learned that the tracks of ogres, lizards and smaller creatures were plentiful on a side path climbing a rocky peak nearby.
The quartet followed an obvious garbage-strewn path up toward the steep outcrop. Beyond the immediate rise was a second peak, violently split in two. Boomah thought that the shadow he saw last night on watch came out from behind this peak.
As the climbed, they noticed that the landscape had been subtlety altered to allow overlooks and ambush points down on the path. Luckily nothing was taking advantage of them — and it was obviously not ogre work.
Climbing up on one of these high points gave them a direct eyeline back to the gate of Gilt Hall, and up to a ‘natural’ crack in the hillside. The also got a look at the marshy high ground that was once Loch Nura and the the narrow valleys running below. Boomah even spotted another opening on the valley floor that seemed to have been cleared of underbrush.
Dauntless, they moved to check out the opening in the hillside. As they approached, the ranger spotted heavy hides hanging inside the darkened entrance. Inching closer, he saw them ruffle as if from a wind. He continued to approach and two black spears shot of the darkened opening, one striking home.
Boomah followed close behind and lobbed a fiery bomb at the two crouching figures he spotted with darkvision. The flames revealed two large dark orcs and a stack of nearby spears. Two more came out from behind the hide curtain and rained spears at the two. A violent horn blast centered on Saerin from nowhere, pounding his eardrums.
Corbel the dwarf cast Stone Call and filled the entry with flying stones— hampered their motion. One orc defied the others and charged out into the sunlight, leaping on a rock and bellowing a challenge to the ranger. Facing his ancient enemy, the elf saw fear and stepped back.
Dremahl was standing by, and struck the orc with a hold person. Saerin overcame his fears and slammed the beast twice with his great sword — toppling him.
Corbel followed with Grease, further slowing any escape from their foes. Boomah took advantage of the grease and set it ablaze with more bombs. Our heroes stepped up to the entry and faced the remaining orcs. Boomah felt a strange compulsion to strike the unsuspecting dwarf, but he fought off the urge for now.
The ranger soon felt at home slaying his ancient enemies, and the burned, stone-pounded, greased orcs could not overcome the invaders.
Boomah saw a figure that had been lurking in the rear move to escape, and lit her up with a bomb. She fled, but could not match his alchemically-enhanced speed. He found the orc around a bend in the cave passage, preparing to cast. He tossed another bomb before she could recite her spell, and he collapsed in a fiery heap.
The group gathered in the entry, and decided to hold this area and bring up the others. Boomah set off on quickened feet to gather the remainder of the group before whatever lives further in these caves realizes what has happened and mounts a defense.