Chapter 17: The Black Water

From The Griffin's Crier
Jump to: navigation, search

What Has Come Before

Scouting northward, Tholyr and Skender have found a band of six ogres. The creatures apparently saw Korlandril’s bonfire, and headed south to investigate. These ogres are typically cruel and brutish, but have a surprising glimmer of intelligence. They carry huge sacks strapped to their backs, some of which contain more than loot. Two hold prisoners – a dwarf named Drogan Ironstorm, a halfling named Thim Stoutfeet, who were members of an adventuring band looking for the Citadel of Rust – while two others have kobold “pets” that the ogres keep as something like trained dogs. Attached to 20’ long chains, the ogres use these kobolds to track their prey.

The Adventure

Having spotted the ogres, Skender decided to try and confuse them by killing the kobold. Before doing so, he eyed one of the ogres who had a bag strapped to his back, assuming that it too held a kobold. He fired a bolt, slicing the bag open and dumping its content to the ground: one bewildered dwarf. The ogres began arguing about how the bag had broken while simultaneously pummeling the dwarf into submission so he wouldn't escape. He then fired a bolt into the kobold, hoping to kill it, but failing. This drew the attention of the ogres, who began chasing him.

"Time to get out of here, eh Tholyr?" Skender asked, then realized the dwarf was gone. "Umm, Tholyr?"

He ran. The ogres chased him, hurling javalins, but failed to hit him. Deciding that chasing the human wasn't worth the effort when they had a dwarf in hand, they turned back.

Death on the River

Skender ran back to the caravan, intending to warn them about the caravan. He found Tholyr already there. The heroes spoke with caravan master Harrison Bane, who asked them to take the Riddleport Regulars and deal with the ogre threat while he took the caravan around them. They agreed, and launched the Queen Besmara's Revenge with a strike crew of 10 Irregulars.

They rowed up river, found the ogres, and began peppering them with arrows. The ogres responded by wading into the river and hurling javalins ... and kobolds. They threw two of the humanoids into the river, intending them to board the boat and distract the heroes. Unsurprisingly, the kobolds failed at their task, swimming in circles rather than engaging the enemy. After a short argument, one of the ogres decided to throw another creature at the heroes, hoping to hit the boat. It drew a halfling from one of the sacks and chucked it toward the boat, but it fell a hundred feet short. Concerned, Emeryon Star-Seeker cast fly on the dwarf Jorm, who flew out and rescued the halfling. He deposited the halfling on the shoreline; the demihuman quickly identified himself as Thimstoutfeet and asked that the heroes rescue his friend, the dwarf Drogan Ironstorm. "We were out looking for the Citadel of Rust and then ... ogres. I'll pay you to rescue Drogan; you just need to kill the ogres and then you can have our stuff!"

The heroes slew two of the ogres as they tried to swim out to the boat, but then Jheru caught a glimpse of dark shapes moving through the water. Suddenly the shapes -- three lizardmen, including an-oversized creature with obsidian scales, erupted from the river. As the melee erupted on the boat, the ogres spotted something upriver ... and suddenly stopped their attack. They grabbed their dropped sacks, and began running.

The heroes managed to kill several lizardmen, but then saw what had the ogres so scared: the black-winged shape of Gorwrack. The dragon closed on the boat, plunging into the river at the last minute, then erupting from the water to breath on the boat. He killed two of the Regulars outright, but then something startling happened: the monk Jheru lept from the bow of the boat and struck the dragon in the face, hoping to stun the beast. He failed, but still managed to land an impressive blow against the beast. The cleric Emeryon succeeded where the monk failed, launching a sonic blast that stunned the dragon and knocked it from the air. When the beast fell into the water, the other heroes emulated Jheru, cannonballing off of the boat and lashing out at the dragon.

They nearly slew the beast, hammering it with blows that culminated with Emeryon searing half of its face with a searing light spell. The blast burned the dragon down to the bone, and it screamed in pain. Finally free of the stunning effect of the cleric's spell, the dragon fled, diving deep into the river and swimming downstream.

Fight at the Standing Stones

After the fight with the dragon, the heroes spoke with Thim, who once again begged them to rescue his friend. The Northman barbarian Cutheric tracked the ogres through the Uplands, finally finding them at a ring of standing stones. As the sun set the heroes sneaked up on the circle. They found the ogres laughing and arguing as the slowly roasted a dwarf on a spit over an open fire. They attacked, surprising the ogres and slaying them in a surprisingly quick combat.

After the combat, they looted the ogres' bags, finding the dwarf and halfling's treasure. The dwarf, apparently an experience adventurer, picked up his boots -- a pair of [i]boots of striding and springing{/i] -- and presented them to Jorm. "I know what it's like to be the slowest one, the one who's last to combat, the one who gets grabbed by ogres because he can't keep up ... I can't tell your friends what they should do, but *I* think you need this." When asked how the ogres caught him if he was wearing the boots, he said "Because I was sleeping damn it! And I can't sleep with my damned boots on!"


Active XP

Inactive XP


(from the Ogres)

  • Boots of Striding and Springing
  • Stickler (Shortsword +2, Giantbane)
  • Elixir of tumbling
  • Potion of Barkskin
  • Mace, light (masterwork)
  • Spyglass (bronze tube with beautiful etchings depicting seabattles between a multi-masted ship and seamonsters; the glass is broken but the tube is worth 100 gp)
  • 120 gold pieces
  • Four rotting human heads (2 male, two female)
  • Two casks of ale
  • 30 lbs of salted beef
  • Scalemail, masterwork
  • Studded leather armor, masterwork
  • 1 tent (low quality)
  • 3 grappling hooks
  • 1 crowbar
  • 50’ rope