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Return to In Search of the Unknown part 8 "Gorga gains an ally."

by Greywolf-ELM

Gorga and Iirkh begin pawing through the treasure, to see what is here, and what can be used. Gorga soon has Iirkh pawing all the coins in one place, and shoving them into a sack for transport. There are many coins of gold, silver and copper, minted in countries all around the Known World. To a coin collector, some might be worth more than their mint. To the Orcs, it is all just coins. The treasure of a small tribe is all piled here having been hoarded by the kobold with dragon's blood. Gems of Azurite, Emerald, Rose Quartz, Alexandrite, Haematite, Jasper, and Aquamarine were scattered in the bed of coins. Iirkh claims the pretty piece of Haematite as his own. The corpse of the kobold sorcerer is searched, and the remainder of his weapons and magic added to the treasure.

When Scrag reaches the rest of the warband, he makes his message quick.

"We kill little dragon, Gorga and Iirkh take treasure."

Never have his words caused so much quick movement within the warband. Scrag stands around proudly as everyone races off down the hallway to find Gorga and Iirkh and is soon alone. Noticing this, the simple Orc runs off after his companions.

Rhgl is the first to come into the scorched room, and sees Gorga slipping on a set of Bracers while Iirkh is still scooping up coins, and having trouble picking up individual coins with his large fingers.

"Gorga, you take the glory, and pick the treasure? What of the goblins, and the other Orcs? Did we not fight too? Where is our share of treasure?"

Gorga turns on the goblin, as the rest of the warband enters.

"I will share the treasure as I see fit, goblin. You would do well to see to your place in this warband."

Iirkh puts in his two coppers as well. "Gorga good, Gorga give Iirkh magic to bring him alive."

Seeing the situation about to come to a result that might have one fewer goblin in the warband, Sharraxtharkul steps in to mediate.

"Great Gorga let me council you to ensure the growth of the warband."

Sharraxtharkul pulls the warband leader aside, and gives him the status of the warband. They have been fighting with no reward. This makes for unhappy Orcs. Reward them well now, and they will cease their griping for now. If Gorga would allow Sharraxtharkul to inspect the treasure, some magic may be found, and will increase the loyalty of the warband greatly if given freely. With Sharraxtharkul acting as spiritual adviser to Gorga, the warband can only be stronger.

Seeing the wisdom of the goblin spell caster, Gorga gives his assent to examine the treasure and help give it out to the warband.

Rhgl backs down now that he has had some time helping Iirkh pick up coins. Looking back to Gorga and Sharraxtharkul, the goblin curses to see the shaman toadying up to the warband leader. He will gain favour for sure, and leave Rhgl to languish in the warband without support from the only other goblin.
Sharraxtharkul begins waving his arms, and barking out words of power. "Spirits of the Earth and Sky, make clear magic's power nigh." As the magic takes hold, he begins to see auras around some items the warband is carrying and most of the items from the small hoard. Turning to Gorga, Sharraxtharkul speaks.

"These bracers you claimed have magic to them; they are a fit claim for the warband leader."

Rhgl rolls his eyes as Sharraxtharkul continues.

"This armour of plates is magic, and will serve One-eye well." Gorga takes the armour, and presents it to the grizzled Orc Gilnak, who quickly strips down to try on the armour. Sharraxtharkul searches through the rest of the items, a spear for Rhgl, Chainmail, a heavy steel shield, and the gems giving them to Gorga with a suggestion as to who could use them the best. The scrolls and the wand, of course, are reserved for the goblin with magic knowledge to "study". Most everyone is pleased, and much to Rhgl's shock, Gorga comes off as a hero saving Iirkh and sharing the treasure so well.

With all the treasure gathered up for tribute to the tribe, or given out to the Orcs in the warband, it is time to heal again. These short brutal battles are taking their toll on the warband, and there was little healing in the short time before Iirkh ran off to the defence of the kobold sorcerer.

Sharraxtharkul makes the best of his healing knowledge, and is able to bring Tyco, Scrag, and Iirkh back up to fighting strength in the span of a night cycle. Everyone else who has been injured gains some benefit from his healing as well.

Gorga calls for the warband to gather after a meal of rations.

"We continue our cause. All kobolds must be killed here." Using some of the Druid's charcoal, Gorga sketches out the remaining door and hallway to be explored, and taps the location of a door.

"Here is where we will go. Near the Kobold Sorcerer's room."

Soon the Eagles are ready for battle, and Scrag is at the door listening.

"There is a sound like a bird here."

Gorga looks at him.

"A bird will not kill you Orc, open the door."

Scrag returns to his task, and opens the door to the sound of wind whistling through the doorway. There are two kobolds mounted upon dire weasels in battle gear. Not being one to show fear where others can see it, Scrag rushes in to attack, and is promptly bitten and savaged by one of the creatures. Gorga follows Scrag into the room, and is flanked by another dire weasel who rushes in and bites deeply into the Orc's shoulder. This one does not let go either. Iirkh squeezed in through the door, and strikes one weasel so hard, that his club continues on into the weasel holding onto Scrag. The rest of the warband piles in, and in moments there are three dire weasels and two kobolds lying dead on the carved rock floor.

The Orcs begin searching the room for anything of value, and any other doors out of the room. None are found, but Tyco and Rhgl investigate a wall made from scrap wood up at one end of the room. With a creaking sound as prelude, the wall suddenly slams down. Both the Orc and goblin are able to avoid being flattened. Two more kobolds on dire weasels rush to attack. The first bites into Tyco's upper arm, and latches on shaking a bloody wound in the arm. Rhgl somehow manages to get out of the way, while Scrag and the others move up to take on this smaller challenge.

Tyco pulls his arm free, and attempts to staunch the flow of blood. Between Scrag and Iirkh attacking by hand, considerable damage is done to the weasel and kobold

Suddenly, a whistling noise is heard, and the door the warband just entered through, slams shut.

The second rider, seeing his chance, turns his mount to run for a door at the far end of what seems to be a wide hallway. The dire weasel bites into Tyco again, but for only moments, as Gorga and Hobna plant arrows deep into the creature finishing it off. The kobold rides his mount to the floor, and begins growling and yipping at the warband. Sharraxtharkul, with considerable backup, steps forward and screeches out the words to a spell, while holding his hands spread out before him. The kobold turns as if to run, but does not make it anywhere, as a sheet of flames engulfs the hapless creature, and sets his dead mounts' body aflame.

The kobold reaches the door, and slides off the side of his dire weasel mount. Rushing to the door, he begins to fling it open, and quickly rebounds off the door. Yipping and growling, he calls out to someone on the other side of the door.

"Let me in. Orcs come. They kill us."

Sharraxtharkul rushes forward and dons the mask he found in the trophy room. He has suspicion that it is a mask of fangs. His thoughts prove to be true, as he is suddenly able to control the weasel, and for the first real time, can communicate mind to mind with his wolf companion.

Seizing control of the newfound power, Sharraxtharkul jumps up on the smouldering dire weasel corpse, and throws his arms out wide. Although the words are unnecessary for commanding the creature, he must show his power to the rest of the warband.

"Kill that kobold, he must not escape."

With the words said aloud, Sharraxtharkul uses the mask, to make the same command. The dire weasel plays his part well. With a squeal, it turns on the kobold. The result is a bloody mess, as the kobold is flailed around with sharp teeth.

Gilnak, not having seen any combat here, has gone back to the door, to open it, and see if anyone was there to close it. Opening it is somewhat difficult, but there is no one in the hallway.

Sharraxtharkul feels his control waning, and calls for Iirkh to kill off the beast. Scrag also helps, with Gorga putting an arrow into the weasel as well. Within a spit***, the creature is dead. With the death of the last enemy, the warband turns to look at the door that would not open for the kobold.

Next Up: Return to In Search of the Unknown part 9 "Battle Frenzy, Orcs, naww?"

* Shins are equivalent to 5 Knucks, or about the length of an Ogre's Shinbone
** Knucks are equivalent to feet, Ogre Knuckles as a unit of measure
*** Boar - Measure of time it takes to skin a boar, about one hour. Spits are also used as a measure of time. A boar on a spit is turned over a fire 6 times in about a minute. So a spit is ten seconds