Dorak - Death in the Shadows

Dear Grandpa,

The orc prisoner was of no more use than any orc ever was. He did tell us a name – Degarn. Ah hope to hear Degarn’s last, choked word be ‘Dorak’.

We talked a long time, relatively speaking, to Horrace. The dead dwarf was as eager to tell his tale as if the telling would earn him an ale. Alas, that comfort has passed.

Horrace was a fountain of knowledge, but there was one thing that knowledge could not solve: an ogre blocking the rest of the cellar.

We lined up to haul the ogre away, and it was decided that Ah and Falko would push while the stouter (stout? Ah’m a dwarf… well, that be more for later) would pull.

When Ah slipped past, there were undead on the other side – some ghoulish fellows, one of whom bit me on the neck. Ah gave a taste of vengeance and backed away, running into Falko, warning him and the rest of the party.

We bottlenecked the foes, to a slight degree. While Ah appreciate the turn about in tactics, Ah hope to be able to more freely move in some future skirmishes.

The two died easily enough. We snuck past and made some additional survey, and found naught of mention – a hole for ghouls to climb in and out, a stairway, and a room with a rusted shut door and an unstable and collapsing tunnel.

We all agreed that we had swept the place thoroughly before we moved on. We climbed up, found the ladder was blocked by a dead orc, killed by Degarn to help flee and used as ballast on a hatch. Okay, so maybe a dead orc can be useful, until they start to smell.

We went back, pushed hard to make it, and told the tale of the Orc Hall and cellar. Laeder told us to go back and double check, to make sure to sweep it thoroughly, and so we did, finding a warded room. You’d ha’ thunk that Laeder or Horrace would ha’ warned us, but no.

We did not relish opening the door. Who knew what horrors lurked inside? What sort of ethereal stalker might slay us? However, bravery was the coin we carried, and we put it in the pot.

When the door opened, Ah saw with utter clarity what would have been otherwise impossible to see. It was a shadow, nothing more.

I blocked the door and Cian moved in to take his position. Ultimately, it was a noble but dangerous move, for he was attacked twice, and the strength robbed from him by the chilling touch.

Fossie and Iz’Alma truly saved the day. Fossie hurt the creature, but Iz’Alma used a scroll to channel energies beyond either’s grace alone, stepped forward, and touched the creature with the aid of her spirits. We were saved. (T’would be nice if there were some way they got along better.)

However, headed back, Cian already weak, Ah began to feel less nible and stout. We were both taken care of, but it was a near thing.

Having realized that while Ah am fairly stout, Ah am more lithe than brash, Ah decided to seek a rapier while taking the rest needed to recover. A bytori smith in Laedersburg is making me a fine rapier of masterwork quality, to be picked up in a few weeks time.

Laeder scheduled a meeting with us in advance, you see. Well, most of us… Khy told us two things of note: she would have to leave us, and Fossie’s brother is being held on charges.

Fossie is reluctant to investigate, believing in law, but as you ha’ told me many times, there be the letter of the law and the man who is reading it – Ah didn’t wish his family to lose his support in this trying time, so Ah encouraged him to have us use this break wisely.

There was a third bit of news, about a chronicler, invisible amongst us, who was afraid o’ Horrace. However, Iz believes he will find his way back naturally, and Ah ha’ decided not to fret.

We went back to Stahl, relatively uneventful. Ah chose Astrid’s to sleep, believing the owner of the sleep-a-wink to be a suspect, and the half-orc to be another. Having had Iz and Khy stolen from at the sleep-a-wink, Ah am testing which is truly the more foul establishment.

Khy hired the private room for us to bid our farewells, but Ah managed to find a rapier for the interim. Ah, fine, ye can say it… all that training you gave me to use weapons with finesse may be put to use sooner rather than later. Just don’t gloat, old man!

Ah think that be the whole of it. Ah’ll tell you of the charges Fossie’s brother was so unrightly accused of when Ah know anything more.

- Dorak

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Dorak - Death in the Shadows

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