Session I - Slavery Awaits (2001-05-01)

It had not been a good day for Radagast.

The opportunity to be on his own, to rely on his own wits and skills had finally led him to apply for the job of a caravan guard. It had seemed easy enough, since there were other, more seasoned guards going along. And it was an opportunity to get away from his nagging parents, and especially away from the eyes of the wizard school teachers. The only person he missed was the old man that had thought him how to fight (every moment Radagast could sneak out from the wizard school or his parent's house).

Everything was going more or less planned on their way from the Republic of Capernaum to Durenheim, until about three days until the destination. Huge, muscular men had attacked the caravan without warning. Garm, the guard captain, had ordered defense, but the guard was defeated. Much to his chargin, Radagast was knocked unconscious in the first moments of the fight.

When Radagast came about, everything was finished. Garm, who had taken quite a beating, explained what had happened. The Iron Claw orcs had looted the caravan, and were taking Garm and Radagast to sell them into slavery.

The orcs met with another band of orcs, who were also trailing captives in chains. After a brief discussion and exchange of barter the captives were all chained together. Grishnak, the owner of five human prisoners, continued marching towards his destination. The new prisoners were captured in a village raid. There was Drik the priest, a shepherd named Cole and a young maiden named Aravis.

Drik, who knew the orc language, tried to ask some questions from the guards, and found out they were headed towards the Broken Fang Hill meeting place. He also got a punch from the guard, and an order to shut up.

Finally the orcs made camp. The captives were chained into a tree, and a guard was placed near them. The rest of the orcs ate, and threw the remains to their 'guests'. Radagast cursed his cold fingers when he couldn't catch the snack. It is surpising what one will do for food, even though there is no telling what the food actually is...

Before going to sleep, Drik tried to talk the shepherd into breaking the chains so they could escape. Unfortunately the orc guard heard them, and spoke in North Speak showing that he could understand what they were saying.

Drik was first to wake up, being used to praying for his spells in the morning. It looked like all of the orcs might be asleed, so he woke up his companions. Some desperate escape plans were discussed, but it looked bleak: Radagast was able to cast only magic missile since the orcs had taken his spellbook, and Drik had only Magic Stone spell available for offensive. They were going to take their changes, but realized it would be a good thing to break out from the chain first. Radagast tried, but the chain didn't give even a little. That was enough to wake the orc guard, so their attempts were foiled.

After brief breakfast (this time Radagast actually managed to catch a piece of bone and gnaw it for nourishment, even though someone pointed out that it could be part of someone he had known - it was simply impossible to tell what the stuff was).

The second day was much colder. It was tiresome to walk in the snow, and the wind did not make it any easier. Finally the wind was so strong that the humans simply could not walk anymore. Visibility was reduced to close to zero, and the prisoners were starting to suffer from frostbites.

Even the orcs seemed to have some disputes, since after the stop there was some yelling and screaming which ended up in a heavy thump. Drik quickly tried to take advantage of the situation and talk the nearest guard into challenging Grishnak. Seemed like the guard did respect, or at least fear, his leader since he simply grunted that he did not have a death wish. Drik then tried to convince him to team up with another guard, but they didn't buy that either. (Drik did had good ideas that might have turned into a possible escape, but the orcs seemed to be old foxes at the mind game.)

Grishnak came over, swiping his bloody sword. He didn't admit to any problems, but stated that Spitznaz was dead. Drik pointed out that the humans were freezing and they would be no good to the orcs dead. Grishnak muttered about weaklings but he was not stupid, and dug out some great looking furs from the caravan loot. That helped.

After a while the wind died down, and the band got moving again.

Early afternoon they were challenged by another band of orcs. They seemed to be of different tribe, and from the looks of it both tribe members hated each other. The orcs were fighting like madmen, with foam coming from their mouths. Drik yelled to the leader of the new orcs that if they released the humans Drik would help them. That got a brief response (what can one expect from a madman, after all), but it was too good an opportunity to pass, so Radagast tried to trip the guard who was holding all of the prisoners in a chain. The orc was stronger, however, and it was Radagast who ended up on his back in the snow. The orc swung his morning star, but missed.

The newcomers were slowly gaining the upper hand in the fight. There were weapons lying around, released by the dead or the dying orcs, and Cole grabbed a hand axe and started chopping at the chain. Drik found a bastard sword he handed to Garm. Radagast managed to get on his feet just in time to dodge the guard falling to the ground, dead. Radagast grabbed the guards dagger and cut away the belt that held the iron chain. While Cole and Garm were busy hacking the chain, Radagast cast Mage Armor at himself in preparation for combat. However, Drik convinced him that even though it seemed like there would only be three orcs left standing after the fight, they looked like they would be able to kill all of the humans without trouble. Garm had finally cut the first loop of chain freeing Radagast, the humans started running away.

Krag, the Black Sword orc warband leader asked where the humans thought they were going, but did not pursue. In fact, the orcs treated their wounded. This was enough to convince Radagast, Drik and the other humans that these orcs might be their best change to get back to civilization.

Drik offered to heal the wounded orcs in exchange of guidance to the nearest human settlement. The orcs accepted, and Drik did his magic. Surpisingly the orc leader wanted his men to be treated first! Because Drik did not have enough spells to heal all the bad wounds, the motley crew spent the night together (first moving further away from Iron Claw tribe's area). In the morning Drik healed the rest of the orcs, which then accompanied the humans close to the village of Cador.

The town guards let the robbed people in without tax (explaining that the town sheriff would pay the tax for them). Everyone walked right away to the sheriff and explained what had happened. Aelric the sheriff agreed that the Black Sword orcs had kept their end of the bargain very well. In exchange for not robbing the human caravans they got to trade.

Garm decided to join the town guard because he did not want to go back and explain how he had lost the caravan and all the goods. The sheriff arranged for a horse patrol to take the girl and everyone who wanted to the girl's own village. Drik and Radagast also intended to go, but while shopping for new gear (the general store owner had paid 70 gold for each fur outfit) Radagast had made an interesting found. After seeing some books in the shop he started searching in earnest for a spellbook. Call it luck or something, but after casting Read Magic he finally noticed something interesting about one book. It turned out to be an apprentice level spellbook. Radagast was so happy he had completely forgotten the shopkeeper was there with him, until the man pointed out that Rada was not looking just for any kind of book, but a spellbook. Sheepishly Radagast had to admit the fact (he usually tried to hide the fact that he was a wizard, he much more preferred people thinking him as a fighter).

Town guard

© Glyn Dewey 1995

Luckily for Radagast, Cordwellyn had something he wanted more than money so they made a deal: Radagast could get the book for 10 gold if he could identify the properties of a certain sword. After talking to Aravis he and Drik decided to stay to work for the book, since Aravis made it obvious she did not regard them as great heros - hence it would have been unlikely to get a reward from Aravis' father. The spellbook, on the other hand, could fetch a small profit once it could be sold (i.e. once Radagast got a better one).

So Radagast set to work. The new spellbook seemed to have been made for an idiot, which was a good thing since Radagast had skipped quite a few classes of Spellcraft in wizard school. But as luck has it, he managed to understand everything in the apprentice book which also included the Identify spell. Casting the spell gave Radagast quite a chill: he learned that the sword was quite powerful, but it also seemed to suck Radagast's life force. He even forgot a spell he had memorized! Luckily the effect did not seem to cause any permanent damage to him. Cordwellyn seemed to be unaffected. Radagast told everything to him.

Image of a magical sword

© Glyn Dewey 1992