The party stood atop a small hill overseeing the town of Kegth below. The town had high walls all around its circumference, with only two entrances marked with massive gates. The main entrance was at the front, with a tertiary entrance to the side for access to the river. Both entrances had multiple guards, both inside and outside the walls, which would make any kind of infiltration; whether it be stealthy or forceful; very difficult. As they were here on official business from Calm, the party decided that it would make the most sense to attempt to approach the town peacefully and request an audience with the Warchief.
They approached the front gate with Vori (as the official representative of the group) and Ennel (as the only Orc in the party) taking the lead in order to ask for an audience. Leonara stayed at the back and kept her hood up, in the hope that if the Orcs did not realise that she was an Elf, she would have an easier time. Begrudgingly, the guards allowed the party inside the city walls and led them to the Warchief’s chamber.
The Warchief’s chamber was grand, with a number of guards encircling the room. At the opposite end to the door stood a tiered structure with a set of stairs in the centre leading upwards. On each level of the structure stood 4 advisors – 2 on either side. At the centre of the structure, on the top level, was the Warchief in his throne, flanked on either side by his two most senior advisors. On his right stood a huge, burly Orc, with heavy armour and weapons, which the party assumed was a high ranking military official. On the left of the Warchief stood a human-sized figure in brown robes, his face almost entirely obscured by his hood. The party immediately recognised him as being the same man who had caused them trouble in the past. However, they decided not to react to his presence, as they did not wish to displease the Warchief.
The party tried to explain to the Warchief that the attacks against the Orc’s lands, while seeming to originate from Calm, were actually the work of a third party, and that representatives had gone missing from Calm under suspicious circumstances, at the same time that representatives in Kegth had vanished. The Warchief was dismissive of the party’s claims, stating that they had no evidence. Vori suggested that they prove their loyalty and honesty through trial by combat, but the Warchief refused, stating he would rather resolve this diplomatically than with violence.
When pressed further regarding the disappearance of representatives in Kegth, the Warchief revealed that they had been burned to a crisp in their homes. Gimpli asked whether there was a perfectly circular burn mark underneath the victims, which the Warchief confusedly confirmed was the case. Gimpli then attempted to tell the Warchief that they had found the same marks in the homes of the missing representatives in calm, but he felt a smothering force fall upon him, and was not able to speak any other words than “I see”. Shocked by what had happened to him, Gimpli lost focus on the conversation and attempted to say the same words under his breath, to see if whatever spell it was that had affected him restricted what he could say or what others could hear. He discovered that when no-one else could hear, he was able to say the same words successfully without issue.
Meanwhile, the rest of the party had attempted to turn the discussion around, asking what evidence the Warchief had that the attacks had definitely originated from Calm. The Warchief motioned to the brown-robed man who drew a wand out from under his robe. This wand, it was said, was connected to Calm, and testing had shown that it creates the same type of fireballs that had been assaulting the Orc’s lands.
The Warchief then motioned to another of his advisors, who threw an obsidian box at the party’s feet, and commanded them to pick it up. Ennel picked up the box and opened it. Inside the party found the fire ring which they had seen previously retrieved from the goblin king. The party were preparing to respond to these allegations when the ring violently erupted, shooting a large fireball at a nearby wall, blasting a hole in it and incinerating the nearby guards.
Seeing this as an act of aggression, the guards encircling the room mobilised and started charging towards the party. The party quickly raised their weapons and prepared their spells, ready for a fight, Vori raised her hands in the air to appeal for calm and the Warchief called out to his men, commanding them arrest but not harm the party.
Exasperated at the situation, and unsure how to continue, the Warchief conceded to the party’s earlier suggestion of trial by combat, instructing the guards to escort them to the cells in the coliseum.
Upon arriving at the coliseum, the party were led into a large room, and left alone to prepare for the upcoming battles. Gimpli attempted to tell the party of the feeling he’d felt when trying to speak before, but the same heaviness fell over him again, however it was certainly weaker than before. Through force of will he was able to overcome it this time, and told the party what had happened. He asked Vori if she could investigate what might be causing this phenomenon, and Vori confirmed that the entire area was enveloped in some kind of evocation magic, noting that she would have expected the aura to be abjuration. Vori remarked that she could not investigate it in any more detail as she needed to rest before the battle.
The rest of the party followed suit, and made preparation for the challenges ahead.
At 9am the next morning, some guards arrived to lead the party into the coliseum for their first challenge. The coliseum was much as you’d expect one to be – a large, round, high walled area, surrounded by tiered seating, although there were no spectators. The only person watching over the proceedings was the Warchief, from a throne at the opposite end. Beneath the Warchief were a large pair of gates, which were slowly being opened.
Through the gates burst a large insect-like beast, with 6 legs and huge mandibles. The party stood their ground and prepared for battle, while Leonara prepared a hugely powerful shot from her bow. She released the arrow which pierced straight through a cluster of the beast’s eyes, ripping off multiple pieces of chitin and severely wounding the creature. Visibly very shaken, but still alive, the furious beast charged at them and spat a volley of acid over the party, causing them to be leg disabled. Leonara and Ennel were able to nimbly dodge out of the way of this and were only lightly sprinkled, but unfortunately the other party members got hit. However the beast had been so wounded by Leonara’s shot that a single powerful strike from Ennel was enough to destroy the creature’s head, and send the body tumbling to the ground.
The party was escorted back to the cell in order to prepare for the next battle, where Gimpli healed the wounded.
A short time later guards appeared to once again lead the party into the coliseum. This time, as they entered they noticed that an area in the centre had been cleared, and that inside it sat 3 chests. Being naturally cautious, the party approached the chests gingerly, when suddenly they sprouted tentacles, revealing themselves to be mimics.
One mimic spat an adhesive, pinning Gimpli to the floor, but other than this the mimic’s didn’t put up much of a fight. The rest of the party easily defeated them while Gimpli was swinging his mace wildly trying to hit something.
Once again guards took the party back to their room, to prepare for what would certainly be their hardest battle yet…