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Drusilia’s Journal

Godsday, Planting 25, 592 CY

Korin has a pry bar. More on that in a bit.

We left the orc camp early in the day and proceeded in the direction the slaves had indicated would take us to the Witch Lord’s Tower. The slaves often hauled the iron ore that they mined to the tower, so the path over the rocky ground was easy enough to follow. As if to let us know we weren’t lost, we saw many more orcish totems evilly grinning at us on our trek. Though I’m not much of a cartographer, I’m now sketching out the places we’ve been in case we find ourselves fighting back through them.

After several hours of walking in a northerly direction, we came to a tower with approximately 50 orc huts and a longhouse around it. While we were forming a plan to get past all the huts quietly, Korin reminded us that he had a pry bar and quickly dashed off. Trap must feel responsible for the other halfling in some way; with an apologetic shrug, he was off right after him. While Fafnir and I moved The Mule to a safe distance and secured him, Ghelt attempted to keep the two halflings in sight as they darted between the orc huts. They checked three and, finding them empty, determined them all to be abandoned. They then went right up to the front door of the tower. Of course, it wouldn’t open. Not with lock picks (as there apparently was no lock on the outside) and not with Korin’s pry bar. As Ghelt kept a watchful eye out, trying to keep all the huts and the halflings in sight, Fafnir and I walked closer so that he could detect for magic while I attempted to detect evil. Neither of us got very far with that, for just as we started, we heard a loud crash— the halflings were using the pry bar as a grappling hook, but not being able to toss it as high up the tower as needed, it had come sailing back down. Trap’s head somewhat muffled the sound of the pry bar as it landed, but either the muffled thunk! or the subsequent squeal from the stunned halfling caused several door flaps to stir. Orcs began to shamble out of some of the huts around us, but there was obviously something very wrong with the orcs. Their lifeless eyes and overly pale flesh indicated that they were undead. At first, there were only a dozen or so and I was able to keep them turned back, but soon more and more lumbered out of their hovels— too many for me and my comrades to fight off. Of course, Trap and Korin were not getting anywhere with their makeshift grappling hook, but luckily Fafnir had a Potion of Spider Climb with him and he was able to take a rope up the side of the tower and secure it, allowing us to climb to relative safety while the zombie orcs clawed ineffectually at the outer walls.

After getting our bearings on top of the tower, we were able to climb inside through a trapdoor and found ourselves in a maze of small rooms. One room was obviously a bed chamber that looked as though it hadn’t been used for years. As Trap ran from door to door on the top floor flinging open what doors would open and inspecting those that didn’t, Korin ran down the first set of steps he found, with Ghelt hot on his heels. I heard sounds of commotion almost immediately, and Fafnir and I ran down behind them while Trap continued his search of the top floor. More undead orcs had apparently been left inside the tower, and with the last of my divine energy for the day, I turned the few that were in the room beyond the stairs so that my comrades could finish them off.

Having two halflings around is twice the excitement, I guess! I only hope we can survive it.

Posted by Kristin on February 12, 2003, 21:35 | Drusilia’s Journal