Of Orcs and Men: Chapter 3: A Pathfinder Campaign

The party, assembled and ready for adventure!

The party, assembled and ready for adventure!

This is the tale of Team Zero Comp’s Pathfinder adventures.

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Also, while I strive to learn as much as I can about the setting and rules of Pathfinder, I am sure I get some details wrong here and there, so forgive my changes to cannon because we don’t worry about it at all!

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For all previous chapters of the story, PC bios, and the Rogue’s Gallery, click here!

Previously, our heroes found Castle Everstand besieged by disease carrying flies which were smuggled into the Castle through the body of a captured Ranger. The disease proved resistant to any healing and if not cured would soon leave the Castle Defenseless. The Necromancer, Bones, had located what he believed to be the source of the curse. The party was sent out with Sandor the Stern, Cleric of Gorum, to investigate the source of the infernal malady. Lance meanwhile, fighting disease himself, led his Knights into the field to lure out Orgug the Brutal and his Blood Riders.

On the way, they encountered a band of Ogres that had killed and were eating Orcs bearing a suspicious message and chest of gold and gems. Who it was meant for is still a mystery. 

At the site of the Orc village, the party found the source of the foul disease: a shrine to Rovagug! After a brutal fight, the party defeated the Orcs defending it and Sandor destroyed the shrine, saving Castle Everstand! However, Sandor decided that extreme measures were necessary  and killed all of the Orc women and children, going so far as to crucify the corpse of Orgug’s mate.

Back at Castle Everstand, the party tells Lance of what happened, and Lance and Sandor have a falling out, leaving a dark finale to an otherwise heroic act. The party takes several days to rest and recover before finding themselves once again, summoned to action in defense of Castle Everstand.

Lance Farstrider: Human Cavalier: NPC

Lance Farstrider: Human Cavalier: NPC

In the keep of Castle Everstand…

“You did the right thing, telling me what happened. Sandor is a vicious fighter, and dedicated to our cause, but he is brutal in his methods. The only thing that separates us from the savage Orcs we fight is our commitment to higher ethics,” Lance said to the party.

Durbag Slug Wrangler: Half-Orc Witch: Gorka Morker's Character

Durbag Slug Wrangler: Half-Orc Witch: Gorka Morker’s Character

“Slugo doesn’t like Sandor, he’s a cruel man,” Durbag said, stroking his pet Slug.

“Indeed,” Lance replied, “and good news, your Gnome comrade had some secrets it seems. While he was cut down in the battle, he had secreted away a diamond and given it to Shayleesta to be used only in the case that one of you should fall in battle. She was able to use it to locate his spirit in the great beyond, and bring it back to his body. He lives again!”

The party cheered to hear of the return of their comrade! Presently, he entered the keep, looking groggy and disoriented, but otherwise in one piece.

Craxis: Svirfneblin Rogue/Wizard: Alex' Character

Craxis: Svirfneblin Rogue/Wizard: Alex’ Character

“Craxis returns to his friends!” the Deep Gnome said.

Frugeon Taletrender: Elf Ranger: Frankie's Character

Frugeon Taletrender: Elf Ranger: Frankie’s Character


“We are happy to have you at our side again, Craxis,” Frugeon said, “what was the afterlife like?”

“Craxis doesn’t remember much of it, only an old Svirfneblin that told Craxis it was time to learn about his heritage. And when I awoke and pulled this book from my pack,: Craxis showed them an ornate, old tome, “Craxis could read the words that he never could before.”

Lazerous Shiver-rot: Human Oracle/Barbarian: Keno's Character

Lazerous Shiver-rot: Human Oracle/Barbarian: Keno’s Character

“Friend Craxis has met his ancestors in the great beyond!” Lazerous said, eyes wide with wonder. “My wood is happy to be near such wise Gnome!”

Lance smiled, “it is a good day indeed when we snatch one of our own from the jaws of death. However, as much as I want to give you all the rest you deserve, I have another task we must perform as soon as we are able. The Orcs have found a way to bypass the wall. Whether over, under, through or around, we must discern the means by which they are getting past us. Tomorrow, we shall ride out, a party of knights heading West along the wall, and us East and if the Gods be good, we will find what we seek.”

The party left the keep, being greeted as they went as heroes and men marked for greatness, which flattered them all greatly.

Dimak Hammerfist: Dwarf Fighter: Tower Shield Specialist Archetype: Youngblood's Character

Dimak Hammerfist: Dwarf Fighter: Tower Shield Specialist Archetype: Youngblood’s Character

“I could get used to this, I could!” Dimak said, as he walked with his chin held high and shoulders back.

“Slugo says he likes having people say nice things to us instead of throwing rocks,” Durbag replied.

Damion Ferzhuul: Human Bard Archivist Archetype: Vidar's Character

Damion Ferzhuul: Human Bard Archivist Archetype: Vidar’s Character

“We need to stay aware of what’s going on. This schism between Sandor and Lance may have serious ramifications on Castle politics,” Damion said as the walked. “It would be prudent of us to use our new-found influence to learn what we can about who supports whom.”

“Craxis agrees,” said the little Deep Gnome, “knowledge is power, and we can learn things when we listen silently from the shadows.”

“Agreed. Follow Sandor, Craxis, and I will see what I can learn.”

“While you sissies are prancing about in the shadows and greasing the palms of merchants for a few gossipy tales, I’ll be enjoying a tankard of Ale and the company of my adoring fans at the Pub!” Dimak said, striding off.

Damion shook his head, “this little bit of fame has gone right to that Dwarf’s head.”

“And I’ve never seen someone so proud of their shiny new suit of armor. He wears that plate mail as if it were royal vestments,” Frugeon added.

Craxis stayed on the big Cleric’s tale, sticking to the shadows and using his small size and stealth to remain unseen. He watched as Sandor made his way through the Castle, talking with knights and warriors known for their viciousness and strong anti-Orc sentiments. In his skulking about the castle, he also noticed two secret exits, one of which appeared to have been recently used a great deal and there had been a careful attempt made to cover the tracks to and from it. Once reunited with the party, Craxis related what he had seen.

Damion Ferzhuul

Damion Ferzhuul

“It seems my information corroborates yours,” Damion said. “My contacts throughout the Castle are telling me Sandor is finding those who agree with him, and rallying them to his side of this argument. We must tread carefully, and keep a close eye on everyone to avoid a potential disaster.”

“And we still don’t know if that gold we found was meant for a traitor in the Castle,” Frugoen replied. “Evidence of someone coming and going from the Castle through a secret exit is unnerving.”

“Indeed. There aren’t may who know of these passages, either. That means that either someone in the upper echelon of the Castle or their agent is using it, or someone with intimate knowledge of the Castle, itself. Either way, we need to keep our eyes on it. I have paid several men to keep an eye on who passes through that part of the Castle. With a little luck, we’ll learn who is using the door.”

Damion and Craxis discover a secret exit from the Castle, and have it watched by informants!

Damion and Craxis discover a secret exit from the Castle, and have it watched by informants!

With the rising sun, the party set out, accompanied by Lance Farstrider. A contingent of Knights rode west, while the party went east, both on the Orc side of the wall. Frugeon rode point, his keen eyes alert for any signs of tampering with the wall. Many miles and most of the day went by before Frugeon noticed something.

“Something’s wrong with the wall here,” the Elf said. “And I see the evidence of foot traffic here.”

Lazarus Shiver-Rot: Human Oracle: Keno's character.

Lazarus Shiver-Rot: Human Oracle/Barbarian: Keno’s character.

“My wood tells me there is something odd about this section of wall,” Lazerous said.

“The wall’s not the only odd thing around here,” Dimak said.

The party inspected the wall, and despite their best efforts, could not determine what was wrong with it, but they were certain something was wrong. Lance decided to ride back for Castle Everstand and bring Bones to inspect the wall. He rode off, promising to return by morning.

“Slugo says we should send friend Craxis up into the air to peep the ground,” Durbag said.

“Craxis isn’t so sure he wants to flllyyy, yikes!” the Gnome said as he was levitated into the air, arms flailing wildly.

“What do you see?” Dimak shouted up at him.

Craxis peered around, and noticed tracks leading away from the wall, deeper into Lastwall on the friendly side of the wall. When he turned to look to the horizon, he noticed what he thought were figures moving in the distance.

“Put Craxis on the wall, he thinks he spies Orcses in the distance but isn’t sure.”

As Craxis was lowered onto the wall gently, he pulled his rope from his pack, and lowered it down to the party. Frugeon started to climb the rope when the party heard the booming of a war drum and the cries of Orcs and Ogres!

As the party attempts to take the high ground on the wall, they are attacked by waiting Orcs and Ogres!

As the party attempts to take the high ground on the wall, they are attacked by waiting Orcs and Ogres!

“To arms!” Damion shouted as he readied his crossbow.

“For my blood-thirsty wood!” Lazerous shouted as he charged headlong into the enemy, froth spraying from his mouth!

“Death or Glory!” Dimak cried, charging along with Lazerous.

“Slugo says a big Dwarf is a better Dwarf!” Durbag said, casting a spell upon Dimak as he ran past which increased the Dwarf in size, putting him on an equal footing with the onrushing Ogres.

“Now this is more like it!” The now massive Dwarf said, swinging his murderous axe into an Orc, splitting the onrushing warrior in two.

Bill decides he's going to sit this one out, and runs for cover!

Bill decides he’s going to sit this one out, and runs for cover!

Bill, the party’s ever loyal pack horse, decides discretion is the better part of valor, and high tales it for safety!

Craxis and Frugeon rain death down on the enemy from the relative safety of the wall!

Craxis and Frugeon rain death down on the enemy from the relative safety of the wall!

The two forces clashed mightily, and the fighting was fierce. Craxis and Frugeon rained death down on the enemy while dodging arrows fired back at them. Damion and Durbag wove magic furiously, struggling to both diminish their enemies and heal their allies.

The Orcs have a healer of their own though, and the shaman heals his warriors and attacks the party with his crude magiks!

First Lazerous fell to his wounds, unable to fight on. He was followed shortly by Durbag, who took an Ogre club to the head. Dimak fought on, using his massive body and heavy plate to absorb the hits while cutting Orc and Ogre down with his axe. Frugeon’s arrows were deadly accurate, and he singled out the wounded enemy, finishing them off ruthlessly.

The fighting is fierce, and many fall to their wounds on both sides!

The fighting is fierce, and many fall to their wounds on both sides!

Damion was the next to fall, knocked unconscious and bleeding, but the majority of the enemy had been laid low. Dimak was injured badly, but with the support of Craxis and Frugeon on the wall, they were able to slay the Orc Shaman. Seeing their leader dead, the few surviving enemy turned to ran, but with their blood up and backs quite literally to the wall, the party cut them down!

After helping to heal their allies, the party took stock of their situation…

“That was too close,” Frugeon said, holding his water flask to Lazerous’ mouth. The Mad Woodsman grimaced in pain at his wounds.

“Aye it was, but we gave those bastards what for!” Dimak said, “My new armor is well made, their blows were like gentle rain against my steel!”

Damion poked a bleeding wound in Dimak’s side, causing the Dwarf to wince, “Gentle rain, huh?”

“Well, even a Dwarf of my quality isn’t invincible,” Dimak replied.

“Craxis and I will scout ahead,” Frugeon said, “those Orcs and Ogres were watching the wall, and attacked us when the saw what we were doing.”

The two snuck to where their attackers had come from, and shortly came upon a small camp. In it they saw a familiar Goblin, stirring a large cook-pot over a tiny fire…

Biter, the Goblin the party rescued from the Giant Black Widows!

Biter, the Goblin the party rescued from the Giant Black Widows!

“Biter cooks the stew, and stirs the pot, the Orcs get grub and eats the lot!” the little Goblin sang to himself as he went about his business.

Frugeon tapped the little chef on the shoulder, “Hello, Biter.”

The Goblin jumped in the air, startled, and his jaw fell open when he recognized who it was.

“Uh oh,” Biter said.

Craxis and Frugeon brought Biter back to the wall, where their comrades had climbed the rope to the top of the wall to rest and wait for morning. They tied the little Goblin up and hoisted him up the rope before climbing up themselves.

At a signal from Damion, Dimak grabbed the little Gobo by the ankles, and held him off of the wall!

“I thought we had an agreement, Biter,” Damion said, calmly.

“We did, we does! Biter was kidnapped by the stinky Orcs! Biter was helping Orphans build houses when he was stolen away by the Orcs and forced to be a bad little Goblin again!”

Damion signaled Dimak who released one of Biter’s legs, letting him dangle over empty space.

Biter squealed, “Biter tells the truth! OK, maybe Biter didn’t mind being with the Orcs so much and maybe they didn’t kidnap him, but Biter did help the Orhpans, they were teaching Biter to grow radishes!”

Damion signaled Dimak again, who released two fingers from Biter’s ankle, causing him to sway precariously.

Biter’s eyes went wide, “OK, OK, Biter didn’t help the Orphans, he stole their radishes and ate them! Biter doesn’t like farming or being good, Biter is a bad, bad Goblin and is sorry! Biter knows things, don’t drop him on his little Goblin head!”

“Now we’re getting the truth,” Damion said. “Tell us what the Orcs were doing here, and how they were getting through the wall.”

“Biter doesn’t know! they don’t tell him anything! All Biter knows is that the Orcs had lots of gold and shiny gems. These Orcs and Ogres you smash up watched the wall while their friends with the shiny goodies go through the wall with magiks!”

“Where were they goin?” Damion asked.

“Biter doesn’t know! He promises! Biter just cooks the stew and stays out of the way,” Biter said frantically, “you let Biter go now, right? He answers your questions and is a good little Goblin.”

Damion nodded and gestured for him to be released, “now you run and don’t let us catch you again.”

Biter shimmied down the rope and ran off, calling back that he would be a good little Goblin from this day forward!

“Well then, we wait for Lance and reinforcements. Things have grown even more dangerous….” Frugeon said as the last light of the day faded away.


About Reecius

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