The Boundary Lands

Chapter 14 - Meanwhile... (s. 34)

14.3 Bringing Down the House

Kendrick informs the party that the entire tribe of ogres, other than their leader, Grull, have all taken up residence in a large mead hall in the village. The structure clings to the edge of the village, half of it supported by tall wooden stilts as it hangs out over a cliff. The group formulates a plan and waits until nightfall to execute it.

Old Breddy and his three remaining soldiers all head out into the street in front of the ogre’s hall, pretending to be drunk as they get into a fight with one another. This distracts the few ogres still awake who lazily watch the spectacle for a few chuckles. Meanwhile, in back of the mead hall, Palloth and Voland climb down to the structure’s wooden stilts. Palloth uses her training in thievery to carefully weaken some of the stilts, while Voland calls upon the divine power of Melora to warp the wood of the others. Soon, the entire structure comes crashing down, falling over the edge of the cliff and pludging thousands of feet down to a rocky floor. A few ogres manage to leap out of the front of the mead hall before falling to their deaths, but the party makes short work of them.

Grull, the ogre mage, soon arrives with Rort in tow. Two ogre lackeys each hold one of Rort’s daughters, crude knives to their throats. Rort is pleading with Grull, claiming he has no idea what’s going on. Grull stares down the party, clearly seeing that his tribe is nowhere in sight, other than the few corpses remaining on the street. He threatens to kill Rort’s daughters right then and there, but doesn’t immediately go through with it, knowing it’s his only bargaining chip left. Grull turns to start slowly heading out of the village with his hostages, but Palloth moves to block his path. The ogres holding Rort’s daughters tighten their grips as a stand-off ensues.

In the back of the party, Lucinda carefully knocks an arrow. She turns to Voland, and they both subtly nod to one another, knowing that the ogre mage will never willingly give up his hostages. In a blur Lucinda raises her bow and releases an arrow as Voland quickly utters the words to a divine incantation and magical bolts of lighting shoot out from his fingertips. It is a bold move – if their aim is off, their attacks could hit the dwarven girls and kill them. Each of them also knows that if their attacks miss completely, the ogres will not hesitate to retaliate by immediately slitting the throats of their hostages.

Lucinda’s arrow zips through the air, and as soon as she releases it she knows it’s dead on target. The shaft plunges right between the ogre’s eyes, lodging deep into its skull. Voland’s divine bolts also land true, pummeling the other ogre with magical energy as it keels over. With their captors dispatched, the girls immediately run to their father’s side. Grull turns angrily to the party and leaps to try to get some vengeance on the group, but he is no match for them alone. The last of the ogres is soon dead on the ground, and the townsfolk rejoice. They celebrate into the night, regaling the party as saviors. The group is ecstatic to have helped save the small village. They assume this must be what life is like all the time for their more heroic friends, Aramil, Invicto, Erik, and The Zaza.

The celebration is eventually cut short, however. Far below the cliffs that the village of Krat’thar clings to, movement is spied on the ravine floor. Looking over the edge, the group can see a massive army of undead far below, moving through the mountains. Unlike the other undead plaguing the northlands, however, this army is much more terrifying. It is comprised of massive giants and ogres, vicious orcs, and other savage monsters. The army appears to be travelling east out of the Torin Plains, apparently raised from the limitless monsters that dwell there. The next morning the group quickly leaves the village to head back to Arastur and report what they have seen.

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