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Ummm, I thought Iirkh was dead

by Greywolf-ELM

Gaak drags the body of the dragon into the open area of the palisade. The orcs that were busy cutting up the remains of the giants are put to work cutting up the dragon remains, after the important parts are picked out by Sharraxtharkul. The orcs left over from the Fat Lips tribe pack up the meat and bones, to be transported as tribute to the Vile Runes tribe Chief Garnash.

Gorga takes the time to give out some treasure to his warband and take count of what is here, unknowing of what Rhgl has taken for himself already.
Among the treasure, is found:
Bastard Sword - 2 - Magical
Bag - Magical
Boots - Magical
Half-Plate - Magical
Crossbow - 2 - Magical
Wand - Magical
Potions - 5 - Magical
Masterpiece painting
Fire Opal Pendant
Red Garnet - 5
Longsword - Magical
Dwarven Waraxe - Magical
Light Mace - Magical
1325 gp, 2207 sp, 3392, cp

From Fellixhulkil:
Leather Armour - Magical
Shield - Magical
Gri-Gri - Magical
Dagger - Magical
Darts - Magical
Numerous Components
Potions - 4 - Magical

The bag is quickly discovered to be one that holds more on the inside, than would normally fit in a bag. Gorga shouts in triumph, and begins shoving treasure in the bag, after distributing a few items around the warband. Each warband member is also allowed to grab a fist full of coins to take as their own. Rhgl sees Gaak take his fistful and then looks at his own hand.
"Gaak, grab a handful for me." Gaak smiles and obliges, and there is soon a line behind the Ogre, of those that were paying attention to the exchange.

The rest of the treasure is bound for the treasure coffers of the Vile Runes. Gorga isn't willing to risk holding back too much of the treasure, and the hide and parts of a Red Dragon should make the tribal shaman happy.

The warband tracks back west, with Orc pariah from the former Fat Lips tribe, carrying anything that the warband couldn't fit in the bag of holding. They would be brought into the Vile Runes tribe as less than full members to begin, swelling the size of the tribe. A few of the patrolling warbands from the Fat Lips, come out of the broken lands and join up with the triumphant warband, and the

Vile Runes warbands spot the incoming train of the Wyverns and the Orc petitioners following behind. They pace the group, until they reach the Home Tribe area, and only send a minimum crew back out for guard duty. With this group coming back, they all know a party is coming.

The warband is met with cheering and shouting, as has become the custom on the return trip for the group. There is some dissension and perhaps jealousy from some in the tribe, as the warband is again soon to find out. Garnash calls for a celebration, and the warband is treated to dragon meat for the feast. Provisions from the Fat Lips tribe are also used, and the former Fat Lips tribe members are allowed to participate in the celebration. Garnash as the conquering chief is looking to endear them to his leadership as quickly as possible. With this success, the Wyverns have doubled the lands, and tripled the number of Orcs under Garnash's leadership.

During the celebration Miggle Dry-Mouth, leader of the Weasels warband, approaches Snig, and attempts to shove him. "What is so tough about you?" Having just returned from a fight with the remnants of an entire tribe, and a Dragon and his shaman, Snig is not in the mood. With a quick grab of his axe, he knocks the goblin senseless with a backhanded swing using the flat of the blade. With Miggle on his knees begging for mercy, Snig says to him "I am now the leader of the Weasels." The Weasels let out a wild cheer, and with a nod, Gorga gave his approval for the goblin to leave the Wyverns.

The Wyverns make a special presentation of the magical tribute, and treasure from the Fat Lips tribe. Garnash is well pleased and calls for a great reward for the Wyverns. He takes on the mien of a benevolent benefactor.

"Gorga, your Wyverns please me. Accept these rewards."
Herlk Wolf-paw brings forward 7 clay pots with healing slime in them, one of moderate power, 3 tribal tokens, and enough gold and silver to split 100, and 500 respectively for each of the Wyverns Warband.

"Take these tokens to the Sacred Caverns. There seek out one of the shamans who can tattoo runes of power. They will be enough for three of you. The triumph over the Fat Lips on behalf of the Vile Runes is the next step in the eventual rise of our tribe in the Blood Orc Horde."

Gorga begins cheering Garnash's name, and the rest of the tribe takes up the call. An enmity with the tribe leader would not be good at this stage in the young Orcs' career.

Sharraxtharkul takes the Gri-Gri left behind by Fellixhulkil and goes to Hargul Wolf-tongue to bargain. In exchange for it, Sharrax requests that the armour and shield be identified. The Gri-Gri is accepted as payment, and Sharrax is told to come back by the next mid-day for an answer. Sharrax also extracts a commitment form the tribal shaman to seek quests for the goblin to obtain objects that he might need to grow in power.

Garnash One-Tusk calls for a meeting with Gorga after the celebration has died down some, and fealty is sworn by all of the Fat Lips Orcs. Any who would not have sworn, have already run off to the Sacred Caverns, or other parts of the Blood Orc lands and beyond. There is shocking news for Gorga.

"Gorga, Iirkh has been reincarnated by Hargul. Some portents divined by Hargul Wolf-Tongue, told of the powerful Ogre being of service to the tribe. I could not allow such a valuable warrior to rest in the afterlife. There is a problem. Will you and the Wyverns be willing to take on the burden?"

"What is it Garnash?"

With a look on his face of having eaten the dung of a Stink-wiggle(4), Garnash continued. "Iirkh has returned to us, in the form of a Halfling."

Gorga is dumbstruck by the statement, and develops the same look on his face.

"There are witches who can perform a ritual to change him into an Ogre. There is a covey of Hags at Wogar's Breath (5) who can perform the ritual. Head east and North past the Sacred Caverns (6), across Natoka's Grave (7), and through the lands of the Black Thug tribe to the River, Across in Gnoll lands the covey resides in a cave near the base of the volcano."

Gorga thinks for a moment, and decides that they may take the quest, there are other thoughts to consider though, the Ogrebreaker in troll lands, the kobold threat, human lands, undisturbed for all this time.

"I will consult with my warband; it is likely that we will take this challenge."

Garnash evaluates Gorga for a moment. He is already developing elders for a tribe of his own, and must be watched. He tells Gorga of the tribe to the north and east.

"Mogar Dreadblade is the chieftain of the Black Thugs tribe. Living in the Northeast of Blood Orc Horde Territory, he keeps the goblins to the North, Gnolls to the Northeast, and Kobolds to the East, in check. Mogor came to power during a challenge to the previous tribal chieftain. There are rumours that he has some Demonic heritage."

He digs in a chest nearby. "Take this token of safe passage, it must be returned when you are done. Mogar does not bargain for them lightly as is his right. You will be able to pass through their lands without a fight, but your time will be limited. Remember the lands are Black thug lands, and Mogar expects deference when you walk them. Do not be too proud Gorga, or shout the Vile Runes name while you are there."

The next morning Gorga tells Gaak, and the rest of the warband.

"We have been asked to take on an assignment. What do you all say?" He seems to be attempting to clear the distaste from his mouth, and tells what he has learned from Garnash. Upon hearing Iirkh was reincarnated as a Halfling; Gaak exclaims in near fury "This is an abomination!" The others echo his sentiment, with a little less feeling.
"This must be done!" Gaak shouts again.

Rhgl comments to Drigka and Sharraxtharkul on the sly. "Look at our great leader crumbling before Gaak's demands"

"Very well." Gorga reluctantly realises the difficulty in convincing the Ogre *not* to take the mission in favour of others. "We will leave after mid-day, and head to the Sacred Caverns on the way."

Sharraxtharkul returns to Hargul Wolf-Tongue to retrieve the armour, wand and shield. Hargul does not want to give up the shield, and reluctantly says that it is a casters shield, and the magic on the armour allows for minor additional armour protection, the wand is able to detect secret doors and traps. Sharrax attempts to haggle with the shaman, but Hargul is not willing to part with much for it, and eventually tells Sharrax to leave.

Sharraxtharkul gives the wand to Chupa, at Gorga's direction, and Gaak retrieves the Halfling Iirkh for the trip. Gaak is obviously shamed, and even though the Halfling is in goblin clothes, it is still obvious that the Half-Ogre in Halfling form is traumatised.
"I knew you would bring disgrace to the family."

The warband heads North towards the Sacred Cavern, and reaches the city with no trouble. The Orcs in this area of the Blood Orcs lands all seem to recognise the Wyverns from reputation, description, tavern song, or near battle. After a few inquiries the warband finds itself in front of a tattoo parlour owned by a Troll hag named Slisa.

After greetings at the shop entrance, and a quick discussion of the tattoos the Troll can create, a few are decided upon that are above the basic ones available. Gaak and Sharraxtharkul will get tattoos that confer the ability to Blur their appearance, and Rhgl will get one that will allow him the grace of a cat. Drigka negotiates with the Hag for a reduced price on the upgraded. During the discussion, Chupa makes a side comment about the sleeping habits of troll hags, thinking he is outside of her hearing.
"Who would sleep with a troll?"

Slisa yells at the kobold. "Get out of my shop. Now! Or there will be no tattoos for your warband today." Chupa slinks outside, and haggling continues between Drigka and Slisa. After a price is reached, Rhgl attempts an even greater price reduction. Slisa mentions a liking for the looks of the Goblin, and he parleys it into a discount over and above what the Bard picked up. The goblin goes into the back room with the Troll and much time passes, with the screams of a goblin occasionally escaping from the back room. Rhgl returns with his new tattoo, a few bite marks and abrasions, and a look of horror to round it all off. As Rhgl steps from the storefront, Chupa sidles up to him "I guess you would." Sharraxtharkul and Gaak get their tattoos, and the warband continues on its' way, with not a small amount of teasing going towards the goblin.

Travel to the Northeast takes the warband into Black Thug territory. They are met at the borders by a tough looking battle hardened warband of Blood Orcs. Each with Black coloration painted on their faces and palms of their hands. Gorga is holding aloft the token entrusted to him by Garnash. The Thumpers warband leader Grubba Spear-heart gives Gorga a challenging glare, but Gorga does not back down. Grubba seems satisfied, and waves the Wyverns to follow him.
"Mogar would meet the much-vaunted Wyverns of the Vile Runes."

The Wyverns are led into the heart of Black Thug territory to the tribe home. The Black Thugs are a major tribe in the horde, and with enemies on all sides, their defences are significant. There are sturdy Hobgoblin-built stone walls here, with ballistae and guard towers placed to cover the approaches to the encampment.

As the walk up, Chupa can barely contain what his thoughts have been churning over. "What do you think your children will look like?"

He dodges a cuff from the goblin, and snickers to himself as only a kobold can.

The Wyverns are brought to a lodge style building where Mogar is in the middle of a small feast. He offers none to the warband, and looks them over with a discerning eye for detail. He checks the token for authenticity, and quickly dismisses the Wyverns with little more than a curt wave. Mogar is sleek-featured, with red eyes, and reddish-black hair, and the Wyverns can see why he is rumoured to have some demonic heritage.

The Thumpers escort the Wyverns to the Eastern edge of their lands, and are directed to a ford in the river. Rhgl begins flapping his arms, and runs out into the water to frolic and swim across. Drigka and Gorga have to reign in the goblin to stay on course.

A few hours later the warband comes to "Wogar's breath" and they search for less than an hour before finding the cave they seek. There are 2 orcs and an Ogre guarding the place. Gorga announces his reason for being here and the warband is led in to see the Hags. Darkhunt whispers to Gorga "I smell Giant and not just the Ogre."

There are three Witches of the Under Mountain Covey; Gwinney, an Annis Hag, and two Green Hags who do not share their names. Gwinney is 8 feet tall, and quite ugly. After a short discussion of the ritual needed, The Hags agree on a price. They tell the Wyverns that the price for performing the ritual will be the hide of two land sharks from the Black Hills. They live to the South in kobold lands, in a grassy hills region of the Broken Lands. The price is agreed to by the Wyverns, and the warband heads south leaving Iirkh to prepare for the ritual.

The warband hunts, for a while, and sees kobold scouts in the distance, but no attack from the kobolds is forthcoming. Within a couple of days of hunting, with Gorga, Darkhunt and Sharraxtharkul working together, a rumbling from below ground. A land shark crests, and attacks. No one is really surprised. In less than a minute, the creature is nearly killed. Rhgl struck the first damaging blow, putting his dagger into a nerve ganglion behind the land sharks' eye. Gaak is severely hurt by a death bite from the creature, as he strikes the killing blow. Magic is used to heal up Gaak and Guru, and the warband gets to work skinning the creature. Sharraxtharkul directs the task. The warband makes camp to finish skinning the creature, and to save any edible meat.

Next Up: Spirit-Tainted What?


(4) Stink-wiggle - If you've read Sagiro's story hour on Enworld, you know what this is. I stole it, common name for a D&D creature.
(5) Wogar's Breath - Volcano on the south side of the Streel river, East of the Blood Orc lands. Named for the God Wogar
(6) Sacred Caverns - Home Horde location for the Blood Orc Horde, also the primary passage for Blood Orc Holdings above and Below ground. A large city for Orcs.
(7) Natoka's Grave - Area of Badlands near the centre of the Blood Orc Lands, burial grounds and horde meeting area with large pillars of stone, with enormous flat stones on top, often large enough for full tribes to camp on for Horde meetings.