Floydd and Rich’s paladin went shopping via PM before last session. As the paladin and the cleric wandered from place to place (followed by a complaining porter with a handcart), they became aware of a woman following them – she was dressed in good clothes which were now tattered and torn.
After their dealings in the gallery, she gathered the courage to approach them: it seemed she was the member of a caravan from the lands of the Knights of the Holy Shielding, come to Greyhawk to buy arms for their fight against the forces of Iuz. As they approached the Free City, no more than 10 miles away, they’d been attacked by a band of orcs that had begun the battle by throwing a skull into the middle of the caravan – she’d been seized by an unreasoning terror and fled. Upon her return, some hours later, she discovered the guards to be dead and the caravan seized. As Rich’s paladin was a paladin of Heironeous, surely he would help?
The party was somewhat suspicious of this – why were so many caravans being attacked near Greyhawk? why weren’t the guards doing something? – but agreed to try to recover the goods they were transporting. Finding the trail of the orcs wasn’t hard – they’d left an obvious trail, especially for Nate’s Elven Ranger, to follow.
So, into the woods they went… but west, rather than east towards Castle Greyhawk. A few miles further in, near the Selintan River, they discovered the lair of the orcs. Archibald (Adam’s Tiefling Warlock) led the initial negotiation. They discovered the orcs were servants of Gruumsh and Iuz, and had come south to help Iuz in his crushing of the remnants of the Knights of the Holy Shielding. They demanded the paladin and cleric be handed over to them as prisoners, in return for which they’d reward the party. Archibald was sorely tempted, but eventually refused and the melee was on.
The group then had to overcome the orcs’ pet wolves – and a carefully arranged rockslide – before they reached the orcs’ subcommander. A battle royale then eventuated, with Rich’s paladin and Bradford’s dwarven cleric assailed fiercely. Luckily, they disposed of the orcish berserker and the subcommander (a cleric of Gruumsh) before they could deal too much damage, and then destroyed the rest of the minor orcs. However, whilst looting the tapestries from the chamber and wondering where all the loot from the caravan was kept, they found another passageway leading deeper underground. Following it led to a great chamber – a chapel to Iuz – with a half-orc cleric of that dread cambion, two orcish guards, and no less than 20 skeletons! (Somewhat decrepit, but all armed with shortbows and very dangerous!)
As the party ranged from 1st-3rd level, and were badly hurt, this was a battle they’d have little chance of winning. So, more negotiation eventuated. Again, they were offered a chance to join the cleric in service of Iuz; Archibald again was tempted, and even more by the rich bounty of gems the cleric strew on the altar before him. He wavered, and fell, betraying the rest of the party.
Archibald had betrayed the party, and was quickly shielded by the two orc guards; the rest of the party fled: it’s not good when the highest level party member turns against the rest of the party! We ended the session there, with the group returning to Greyhawk.
Adam’s turned over his character to me to run as an NPC. He’ll be creating a swordmage for the next session, of unknown race, although probably Eladrin.
For the purposes of this campaign, tieflings are indistinguishable from the rest of the population, although they have a seed of evil within them. Most are descended from the fiend-dealing houses of the Great Kingdom, but I have a sneaking suspicion that we’ve just confirmed that Archibald is actually related to Iuz himself!
Next session? The consequences of the betrayal, of course! Although it’ll be a month from now…