Evils of Land Bound to Darkness

10000 Orcs..ok 20 Orcs! and the destruction of Rathe's hometown

Thanks to the long memory of the elves we are able to figure out exactly whose tower we ran into in the woods. Apparently the Elven Wizard Amok who hasn’t been heard from in over 800 years once stayed there. His life time work of trying to stop the negative energy plane from impeding upon this plane might hold some clues as to ways to stop the magic decline that seems to be coming, or at least help us figure out what to do about this damned fog. Hopefully he is behind that door and he can answer our questions, but if not maybe there will at least be something to help us figure out the next step. Fore all we know he may be trapped or hurt back there so with little prompting the group decides to go back and investigate. Besides, how much trouble can two little golems be. (Could be famous last words!)
Upon reaching the tower and the lab room we begin to prepare ourselves to defeat the golem guardians. The Magus and the Slayer come up with a plan to try to bind them so we instead of destroying Amok’s guardians, we can simply let him know they are trussed up at his door, and if he is no where to be found, perhaps we can sell them to the elven village to be repurposed as village guardians. So Rathe buffs himself appropriately, casts bless upon our group, the Magus gives the three of us who are fighter types enlargement and access to a fighter feat, and I cast fist of stone on myself along with balor’s nimbus in preparation for grappling with one of the golems so the rest of the group can quickly bind the other golem. Because the slayer asked ahead of time I prepared a magic weapon spell for him, so after casting that, I cast combust on my fist in preparation then we move into combat. Elanna and the Slayer both move in to restrain one Golem while Rathe casts Curse to lower its ability to fight back. The Slayer succeeds in tripping his target but when he moves in to apply a set of manacles they shatter against the golems magical defenses. The golem shrugs off Rathe’s curse spell, and Elanna delivers a mighty blow. My first strike from against the golem ignites him in flame and blows him into chunks of rock before I can even think about moving in to grapple him. Looks like we may have over prepared. As I turn to move in to assist with the other golem I see there is nothing left but rock chips as Rathe, Elanna, and the Slayer quickly bring it down. With the golems dealt with we search the rest of the room and find a collection of very magical books on a set of shelves. Next we move to the door and the Slayer tells us that it is warded with two fire and an electric ward. Both Rathe and the Magus try to dispel the magic on the door and one of them is able to bring down one of the three wards. Rathe casts a protection from energy spell on me to ensure the remaining fire doesn’t kill me. The wards fire is not enough to get through Rathe’s shield and we search the room beyond the door and find a journal written by Amok himself. I scan it and realize that it is going to take some serious time to digest so I put it in my bag and we begin to search the rest of the tower. Realizing that that will take a lot of time, we all begin our individual tasks and agree to stay for a few days. Rathe and I work to descipher the journal, the Magus begins crafting a monk’s belt for me, while Elanna, the Slayer, and the druid search the tower.
No one really finds anything of interest in the tower so Rathe and I explain to the group that Amok figured out a way to stop the negative energy plane from spilling into our plane even more but realized that he life span wasn’t long enough to get it done so he traveled to a specific place put himself in a type of stasis and begin the ritual casting that would get it done. Unfortunately the magical decline that would allow the negative energy plane to spill over is happening 30 years faster than his calculations said it would. So we decide that after we drop off the boy in the mountains we will travel to where we think he is to either help him or alert him that things are not going according to his plan. I decide to take the books along so he can have them at his disposal (or the three arcane casters in our group can learn enough to perhaps pick up where he left off). After a quick stop at the elven village to sell the remains of the golems we travel to the next cache. On the way we see a Force Dragon flying above us, which is both amazing and odd. Typically they don’t reside in this plane and he wasn’t just here but looking intent on going somewhere and fast. Deciding that its above our heads and ability to influence, we decide to continue on. The first cache we find all the weapons are pretty warped and rusted and the room feels like the inside of an oven. We find a door leading deeper into the cavern, but its really hot to the touch. Rathe protects himself from the flames and goes further to investigate and the rest of us back away from the intense heat. After a short while he comes back to join us telling us that after a short downward slope he finds a pool of lava traveling underneath the cache. As we confer we decide this is another instance of the weakening of the barriers between the planes because it sounds like he found an entrance to the elemental plane of fire down there. We continue on but the next Cache we get to looks like someone beat us to it and all the weapons are missing so we continue on. Rathe tells us that soon we will make it to his hometown and that from there we will get a boat to help us get to the mountains more quickly. When we get to his town, we are met with death and devastation. The place is in ruins and not a soul is left alive. It looks like a huge battle was fought here and magical detection shows that a great evil magic was done in this place. It looks like an artifact was sacrificed here in some kind of epic spell and and miles of fire and devastation rained down for miles around. As to be expected Rathe is upset by this and he comes to the conclusion that whoever is looking for this boy must have figured out that he was connected to him and came here looking for him and the boy, and when the town wouldn’t/couldn’t give us up they were destroyed for it. I think his assumption maybe a little off the mark, but regardless I think staying here is a bad idea and as it seems the boats would take days to repair, we decide to start off again on foot. While we are making our way we spot a group of orcs dragging elven slaves about a mile away.
Already upset over the destruction of his home Rathe decides that he wants to vent his anger on the orcs, whom he thinks likely had something to do with his town being destroyed, and he has a soft spot in his heart for elves. I don’t want to see anyone enslaved, and I have a soft spot in my heart for killing orcs so I’m all for it. As we move to try to catch the orcs, they spot us and send a scouting party to try to stop us. Twenty Orcs on twenty wolves vs the five of us. Well at least it will be interesting! Rathe is able to drop a couple of fireballs into them before putting away his wand and starting to buff himself, but unfortunately none of the rest of our caster’s have prepared any spells to help kill them before they get here. Ellana pulls her bow and puts several arrows into a few wolves still on fire from the fireball, dropping them and slowing the orcs from reaching us. The Magus gifts three of us with Enlargement and access to a Fighter Feat, and casts Haste to aide us in the battle, and I surround myself in Death Armor, casts Fist of Stone, Chill Touch, Combust, and Corrosive Grasp and smile as five wolves carrying orcs surround me. A fan of flame erupts from my body burning all as they attack. A look to my right shows Ellana in her element as she swipes her blade through the air cutting, slicing, and piercing several wolves and orcs with every swing, and a look to my left shows the Slayer also surrounded by a set of wolfs carrying orcs, several of which he already has on the ground knocked into one another with orcs and wolves trying to unentangle themselves from one another. Rathe enspells his blade and launches it hitting several of the opponents facing Elanna as well as several of the orcs and wolves still coming into the battle, killing several of them who were unlucky enough to still be smoldering from his fireball. Taking full advantage of the added speed gifted to me by the Magus, I land 4 powerful blows on multiple targets and watch one catch on fire and die, and the power of the chill touch, corrosive grasp, and fire from my kama begins to decrease the enemy both in number and desire to continue standing before me. I pay for hurting them so badly as four attacks land on me but my death armor sends negative energy coursing through them and some fall dead in their tracks. More hurt than I like to think about I yell for Rathe and he says he will get to me as soon as he is done healing the Slayer. At this point all the wolves are fighting on terrain covered in grease thanks to the Magus and consequently some of them are missing or falling as often as not when they try to attack us. A glance in the Slayer’s dirction shows him working a fighting withdrawal in my direction. Some of his opponents are already down and he puts down two more of mine but even with the healing assistance from Rathe the crushing number of orcs is too much and he succumbs to blow falling to his death. Realizing the same could just as easily happen to me I switch tactics and begin fighting defensively, landing another set of blows this time delivering a shocking grasp along with the chill touch and corrosive grasp, but missing a few blows as well as I concentrate on parrying and stepping out of the way of my opponents. Rathe’s heal helps and I get hit less but still feel the numbers are stacked against me so I summon an illusion of 6 more copies of myself to confuse my opponents and give them more to worry about. At this point all the surviving orcs and wolves that had been fighting both me and the slayer have surrounded me but Allana, Rathe, and the Magus are moving in to assist. I continue punhing, kicking, headbutting, and anything else I can think of to dodge the spears and mighty maws of the wolves, the magus gets off a ray of fire, while Allana begins slicing and dicing, but ultimately it’s a cone of acid from Rathe that delivers the killing blow to the a three sets of wolves and their riders. The last orc sees he is outclassed and outnumbered, his mount dead, he begins running as fast as he can trying to get away. Allana yells for one of the casters to pepper him with a magic missile or something, but I decide that having one alive to question isn’t a bad idea so I use my Monk’s gift, not to mention the haste spell from the Magus and I’m on top of the orc before he gets very far. I successfully engage him in a grapple, knock him unconscious, and have him tied up by the time the rest of the group catches up to me.
Realizing that while I have the size and the ability to beat the orc to unconsciousness again and again, perhaps Rathe or our charismatic Magus would be more apt at questioning the orc, so I leave with Allana to bury our fallen hero, and collect any treasure the orcs had on them. We agree to do all of this as fast as possible knowing that we still have to catch the rest of the orcs, but hoping that any information we get from our captive will help prepare us for what we might have in store.

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