The Encroaching Tide

Session 4

"The Orcslayer"

Matthew accepts the challenge of the orc leader, but wants mutually accepted terms of non-interference and non-lethal combat before the bout begins. The orc consents and the battle unfolds. Matthew manages to avoid hit after hit through the use of his armor and potent shielding magic, but the few that do slip through nearly fell him. On the other hand, the orc leader is far easier to land blows on, but seems to have a nearly unlimited supply of stamina, shrugging off blow after blow. In the end, Matthew is left standing, heavily wounded, but still the winner. After both combatants receive some stabilizing healing, the orc introduces himself as Kah Marp. He leaves, as promised, but not before giving Leora a suspicious glare after realizing who her holy symbol belongs to. Matthew, christened "The Orcslayer" is hailed a hero by Corso's Cavern, and the celebrations and toasts to the Orcslayer's victory continue into the next morning. 

After a few more days, the party is prepared to leave for the Diamond Coast. Accompanying them is Tarn, a cleric of Moradin, and Ingram Greypike, dwarven archaeologist. Greypike explains it was he who found the first magical spoon, in an old dwarven bunker in Tarq. The party is given a description of Belloq so they can recognize him: a middle-aged dwarf with a black braided beard, potbelly, and a burn on the right side of his face. As the party's wagon is wheeling out of the city, a dwarf comes scrambling after them. Supervisor Barrett, now going by the moniker Daggerface, expresses his interest in becoming an adventurer after his "grim and dark experiences" in the mines with the drow. He is reluctantly welcomed aboard. 

En route, Averyn manages to catch a jackalope and affix the creature's horns to the head of the wolf hood on her cloak. The party is also accosted by two armored trolls along the road. They are dealt with easily and cremated, leaving only their indestructible jaws (which are left behind, as they are rumored to be bad luck) and a magical cloak of temporary fire immunity. Distressingly, the troll's (relative) intelligence, seen by the use of armor and magic items, might be suggestive of someone organizing bands of trolls in Tarq. Tarn and Greypike talk about various topics during the journey. It comes out that Greypike is not as religious as he used to be, citing the decreasing involvement of the divine powers in the lives of their mortal followers. He broaches the topic of the same god being worshipped under different names by different cultures, which Tarn is frankly offended by. They also discuss eldritch eyes, components drawn from aberrant creatures used as a catalyst for teleportation or plane-shifting magic. Even if eyes were readily available, only a few in the world have the skill to even cast that level of magic. The Don's personal wizard, Ironveins, is cited as one. Other names mentioned include a Crystalfood and a Seagram. 

The party eventually arrives at a large mound that is guarded by several dwarves that serve Don Horatio, the dwarven lord that controls the land the ruins rest on. Deluvian kuo toa recently overran the ruins, and a band of Illuvian kuo toa have arrived to reinforce the dwarves (who generally aren't happy with any kuo toa being there). The party speaks with the head of the Illuvians, Muro of House Scrovo, who mentions that upwards of 10 hostile kuo toa are inside. 

The ruins belonged to the Yatarans, a long extinct race that is depicted as gnome-like in appearance. The massive entry hall has two active warforged, moving about and tidying up the room. One introduces itself as Temple-1. It mentions that it last saw the Yatarans 700 years ago and that it recently powered on a few months ago due to the stasis chamber holding the warforged powering down. 

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