Orcs of Stonefang

A Secret Cultist Lair

As they pressed further into the Pass, the party came upon a secret door in the wall, wedged open by the corpse of a dwarf. Upon entering the door, they found the unmistakeable signs of a fierce battle between orcs and dwarves. The dwarf corpses they find all bear unusual markings- tattoos of manacles and chains leading from their eye down around their wrists. Could these be the Shadowed Chain cultists that Hadarra Glintshield had warned them not to trust?

The arcane and religious knowledge of the party informed them that such imagery of bondage would be considered dishonorable in most dwarven culture, and that this symbolism was strongly associated with Torog, the evil god of jailers and torturers. Superstition holds that if you speak his name aloud, Torog will crawl up from the Underdark to claim you.

Moving silently further into the secret passage, the keen ears of Thromelian the ranger caught the sound of several orcs quarreling. With great stealth he picked his way into the next room and felled each of the three with a single arrowshot to the heart.

The orcs had been fighting over how to divide a pile of treasure, which the party then claimed.

Behind the three orcs, a wide stone spiral staircase led down further into the chamber. Carved into the walls is a mural depicting a fight between dwarves and an enormous rock-skinned giant. Each cycle of the stairs shows the giant losing a body part to the dwarves; first, he loses his eye to a spear; then his hand to an axe; then his rib to a hammer; then his heart to a sword. Incredibly, he still seems to fight on. The party notices that the giant’s hand looks remarkably similar to the hand-shaped stone artifact they took off the orc leader in the gatehouse.

Concerned that there may be more orcs ahead, Thromelian scouts the passages at the bottom of the stairs. He discovers a number of orcs in a strange chamber. Two altars and four magic circles surround a pit that is covered by a magic force field; the surrounding area is full of winding passages. Nearby, he sees two orc archers and attacks them from cover.

The battle joined, the party fights a long and wearying battle with six orc archers, an orc troll shaman, and an ogre savage. They are severely wounded and nearly fall in battle, but their superior intelligence and strategy eventually helps them win a victory.

Worn out and dripping blood, the party gathers up some treasure from the corpses and retreats back to the gatehouse for a rest.

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