Seven Hands of Orcus

Entry 4: Althbred

Althbred:
The only other thing of note the group finds on the dead man is a dagger with an antler hilt. Ithilwyn brings this. You never know when something will be important and maybe they can even return it to his family. Ithilwyn and Azalynn determine that since we are entering enemy territory it is important to scout ahead so they move off of the path and disappear in the sparse bushes and rocks.

They travel about 30 minutes staying hidden and quiet as best they can. They come to the edge of the valley where the one road into Althbred begins its descent into the deep valley. Althbred lies at the farther end of a deep valley. To the north of it are steep cliffs. They can also see the old mine, now called ‘Grab Scratch Mine’, off to the Northeast of the town and what they can only assume is the Dwarven hold of ‘Clinger Dell’ built into the cliff face to the East. They can also see dark grey smoke rising from several fires and Azalynn’s keen eye picks up several very large humanoids around the fires that the duo determines could be the Ogres that we heard were in the area. It is clear that the invaders are not only still in the town, it seems they have entirely taken over. As they search around a bit, they find a path heading off to the Southeast that looks to go along the rim of the steepening cliff overlooking the valley where they hope they will be able to find a safe place to rest and maybe a better view of the ravaged town. Azalynn also finds the spot where the town’s brave and determined messenger had fallen; amazingly, he had crawled several miles to where we had found him.

Azalynn and Ithilwyn head back to the group to report and bring them in closer to the town. When they arrive, the group is glad to see them, they give a brief overview and head off towards Althbred. When they reach the path that skirts the valley rim, Irky advises them that this is the path to Clinger Dell and the old ‘Harper Mine’ where the letter said the marauders were using as their base of operations. The group carefully follows the path around until Azalynn finds a good, shielded place among rocks for the party to hide. They make camp, with a very small fire and talk in low, hushed voices. They each work on the coded letter and determine what they hope are several clues. The most important of which is that they believe the remaining villagers are hiding in a secret area of the Sun Stone Church. There are other parts that seem to refer to some sort of key, sand, and a broom. Ithilwyn and Azalynn go off a ways each to meditate and focus. They then all go to sleep early as they have decided to enter the town very early before dawn to use the darkness as cover. In the middle of the night, the group is awakened by a large explosion in the town and they look down to see a very large fire but they can make out little else.

The group rises early and leaves the camp around 4:30 in the morning which will put them in Althbred a little before 5:30 in the morning. The group sneaks around Althbred to the South, staying a ways out in hopes that any guards stationed in the six towers will not see them. The church is in the east most point of the town. The group sneaks around to the back of the church traveling through the field to move closer and waits a ways off while Azalynn and Ithilwyn go up to the church to find a way in before calling the others. Rhiannon casts a spell that allows her, Azalynn, and Ithilwyn to communicate effectively in only a whisper.

There is a fenced in area in back of the church. Azalynn and Ithilwyn carefully open the door and Ithilwyn wedges an arrow in the hinge to keep it open for the others. There is a door in the back of the church, but it has no handle and no lock. There are two staining glass windows about six feet off the group and one large stained glass window of a sun higher up. Azalynn gives Ithilwyn a leg up and Ithilwyn climbs up and stands in the ledge of one of the staining glass windows but she cannot see through them except to see there is a low light coming from inside and there is no way to open the windows that she can see. Azalynn scouts around the side of the church and finds that toward the front of the church on the South side, there is an Ogre sleeping and to the North are six Goblins playing cards or dice. Ithilwyn climbs down from the window and searches the back. On the southeast back corner where the ground has been washed away, she notices the foundation goes down into the ground indicating there is likely a lower level to the church. Ithilwyn calls the party up to see if they can help search. Delell notices this church is of Dwarven construction and he knows there is a common technique they use with doors where they are opened and closed using magnetic forces. Ithilwyn takes out the antler handled dagger they found on the dead messenger and the magnetic force pulls it to the door. She hands it over to Delell who carefully maneuvers it to open the door!

The group sneaks carefully inside the church. In the middle of the floor are two Ogres sleeping and a small fire. Ithilwyn and Azalynn sneak around looking for secret doors or passageways. After some time, Ithilwyn ventures out towards the other end and finds a set of stairs going down. She motions to the group and they move carefully to join her. One of the Ogres awakes and Ithilwyn motions the group to wait and the Ogre falls asleep again. After a few moments, she waves them on and they group joins her. They can hear angry muttering in what sounds like the language they heard the Goblins speaking before and listening for a bit, they determine it is only one voice. Ithilwyn readies a Sleep for the Goblin and as soon as he comes into view, she casts and the Goblin falls to the floor asleep. The group decends the staircase passing my some food stuffs on shelves. Ithilwyn heads over to the Goblin while the others take a look around the room. She knows that they can’t have the Goblin waking up so she carefully plunges her dagger into its throat causing blood to spurt up to across the front of her clothes. She quickly goes to work setting the scene, in case of discovery by the enemy, to make it appear the Goblin had tripped and fallen on its own knife.

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