Thak is a small pond and the party isn't going to be long for it. However, I do like to do some world-building and the group was going to get to spend at least 2 adventures here before moving west to Sorton for an adventure or two.
So we had an opportunity to meet with one of the Merchant Houses that we work for and get a feel for how the 1st adventure impacts everyone. What's nice is they're mercs, so anything heavy and long winded isn't going to affect them for very long. Plus it sets up the next adventure nicely.
Write up follows:
It was almost 2 on Birthmonth the 15th and we were trudging our way through the ravine heading south and east away from what had once been Fingelt’s mine. The sides were still too sloped and dangerous to risk climbing so we stayed on our path and continued to walk our way along, hoping to get to an area where we can safely attempt to climb free.
Not too much later we arrived at a split in the ravine where the water continued down both sides, the path heading roughly east and roughly south. We noted more current heading south and assumed we were already west of Thak, so opted to head east from this point. As the time passed and the ravine meandered about, we did note that the right hand side seemed to be lower than the left, and the slope was not as sharp as the miles passed on.
Around 3:30 we detected a faint whiff on the air of meat cooking. Trace at best. We picked four of us (Avulstein, Darius, Einar, and Connal) to check ahead while the rest of the group held back and waited to hear from us. Bolstered, the 4 party members crept along, watching the sides of the cliffs, the sky, and everywhere they could in the hopes of seeing whatever it was that might be ahead.
They did come upon the ribs and spine of a deer after some time, and the half-orc’s keen eyes did spit a wisp of smoke rising over the top of the ravine’s edge further along. As we were coming upon the turn to look around a voice called out in orcish for us to “Stop! Who goes there?”
Einar and Avulstein were the only ones to speak orcish and the elf deferred to the druid to confer with the unseen caller. We assured the orc warrior (that we only barely made out in the shadow of the cliff, a flatbow pointed squarely at us) that we were on our way back to Thak and had just come back from a big raid against some kobolds.
While this was going on 6 more orcish warriors had been alerted to our presence and came around the side of the ravine. They were big, Randari Wild Orcs, standing between 6 and 6 ½ feet, the largest pushing 300 lbs. There was talk about fighting and the dragon but Einar played on the orcish dislike of dwarves and said we had a few dwarvish prisoners we were bringing back to Thak to sell for ransom.
That got them interested. The leader then came down, introduced himself as Roanil and bid one of us (Darius) to head back to the rest of the group and bring them up along with the dwarf captives. He bid two of the orcs to go with the fighter/slinger and to return here forthwith. A stout fighter named Dolsch and a buxom greenskined named Shvanga were dispatched to go with Darius.
Avulstein meanwhile was trying to chat up the other orcish female, enraptured by her size, her ferociousness, and her presence. A tusked fighter named Bertin; she was unimpressed with the necromancer and refused to rise to his jibes.
As for Darius, he was flat out asked by Shvanga if he wanted a blow job which took the burly fighter back a step. A blow job, Here, in the ravine with Dolsch watching? Should he? Should he not? Shvanga was rather blasé about the whole thing, grabbing the fighter’s crotch after she flipped her brigandine hauberk off and dropped to her knees. Finally Darius couldn’t come up with a reason to say no and the matter was literally, sucked out of his hands and decision. Shvanga was aggressive and did not let up, which for Darius was a good thing since it had been some time since he had been with a woman and before long he had given the orcish warrior what she was looking for and she got up with a toothy grin, allowing the two of them to redress and continue on.
Darius made it his business as they got close to alert the bulk of the group that he was coming and to have the “dwarf slaves ready” to move out. He said it a few times, repeating it loud so the party would be ready. Sure enough, when he finally approached with Dolsch and Shvanga in tow, the few dwarves in the group (including Korsdottr) were in the center of the massed party and had hands on their shoulders keeping them in place.
There was talk of moving out and that the rest of the party was with the Randari warriors waiting for us and we were all going back to Thak together. It was then Shvanga’s wants were finally explained to Darius (neither of them spoke the others language but were doing the best they could with what pidgin and hand gestures they could) by Thalin. Shvanga wanted another encounter with the burly fighter and wanted him to not “give half”.
So as the party was gathering up to leave, Darius once more dropped his pants and proceeded to show Shvanga (amidst an audience of the half-ogres and one very close and very interested gnomish sorcerer Bobkins Applebottoms) what he was capable of. It was a hit, at least with the orcish warrior. She then proceeded to wrap a meaty hand around his bicep and walk proudly with him back to Roanil along with the rest of the group.
Meanwhile Roanil was commenting that the group was taking some time and talked to Einar long about how they were going to be paid for taking the druid and the rest of the group back to Thak. And Einar, now identified as “little brother” were going to go with them to the Street of Pleasures and get some human women for the night. There were some jokes about making more “little brothers” and that he should stay with them during the festivities.
Bertin was unimpressed with the lot and instead allowed Avulstein to entertain her even though the creepy necromancer was getting outwardly turned on by the orcish female and kept hinting quite nakedly, that he wanted an encounter with her. She didn’t think it was a good idea and pretty much humored him during this time.
When Darius and the rest of the group returned there was much talk and excitement. Roanil and the Randari Orcs had not been back to town for a few weeks and Shvanga made no secret of her now twice partaking of Darius. Bertin referred to her as a slut but Shvanga noted that she had a winner and grabber Darius hard once more.
There were now 23 of us heading back and Roanil helped us eventually out of the ravine and then to the main trade road. Any bandits or wild animals that were in the area gave the very large group a wide berth and we eventually (well after 8 PM) made it to the main gates of Thak. The guards knew Roanil by sight and the rest of us by reputation (thanks to Korsdottr).
Once inside Roanil and the other 4 orc warriors took Einar and his bat with them (after Einar got a handful of gold from Connal from the strongbox) to the town square and then a right to the Street of Pleasures. We went around back through an alley and then made our way inside after talking to the bouncers there. Roanil and his crew were known enough that the girls were less than enthused to see them but were even more upset when Einar paid for the lot of them and himself not just for one encounter, but the entire night.
Needless to say there was much cheering and groaning that night.
Meanwhile Darius and Avulstein each grabbed a small share from Connal and followed at a distance Einar and his crew to the Street of Pleasures where they went to a decent Inn called The Pig and Pony. Taking Shvanga and Bertin with them they managed to get a pair of adjoining rooms on the 3rd floor with baths where they paid for brandy and food, telling the servant girls to keep the water coming and hot.
Then they each took their orcish women to the chambers where Avulstein begged to have the door open so that they could watch one another. Darius started off with bathing Shvanga who was luxuriating in the hot water while Avulstein was more on getting hard and heavy with Bertin. As the night wore on and Bertin was surprised by Avulstein’s length and kinkiness (practically getting her to figure out he wanted to be choked during sex), Darius used every muscle, twist, twitch, skill, finger, tongue, flick, pull, and thrust his warrior’s form could conjure up to rail Shvanga into a gibbering mess of very self-satisfied orcish flesh.
Needless to say there was much cheering and groaning that night.
That left the rest of the group. Korsdottr flat out told the group that they should say nothing of the strong box contents and to hang everything on Sigurd. His fault, his bull shit, his mess. Nuggle Darbeard was Tropor Darbeard’s nephew and Tropor runs House Darbeard. We should get to the Darbeard Demesne and meet with Tropor as soon as possible since if he was expecting us, we should have been back much earlier in the day and with three wagons laden down with ore.
It was decided that Korsdottr, Connal, and Dizzy would meet with their employer and let him know what happened as well as the betrayal of one of his 2nds. The Demesne was open and in no time we were ushered into the offices and eventually brought before Tropor and his adjunct Savaris.
Tropor was a hill dwarf, over 250 years of age, and had taken over the family business almost 30 years ago from his father who had retired. A fairly open minded dwarf, he learned that in order to run a mercantile business, one would need to diversify and over the last 30 years have allowed other races and non family members more and more power and control. This has led to the Darbeards being one of the 2 larger Houses in Thak of the 6 main merchant guilds.
His adjunct, Savaris, was a human of late 30’s, and was effectively his controller and main broker of supplies. The two of them started off wondering where the hell the group has been, where is Nuggle, where is Sigurd, where is the iron ore and whatever other material we were supposed to bring back.
In successive fits and starts, the three revealed the sad tale to Tropor who only grew angrier and more wroth at the thought. We learned that the possible loss from this caravan not only not returning with the goods, but also the loss of material and equipment as well as funerary costs was most likely closer to 10,000 nobles. 10,000.
Needless to say there was much yelling and groaning that night.
After filling the two in on everything including the possibility of the Brinster involvement, Tropor Darbeard flat out couldn’t see what Braddock Brinster would achieve by this, especially if it would ever come back and shit on his door step. There had to be more.
We needed to get Sigurd back so the call was put out to set a bounty on the turncoat and learn of his location. We also needed to have a group lock down – no blabbing around town as to what we saw and not to tip off the Brinsters of what we learned. The party would be rounded up and brought back to the Darbeard Demesne on the morning. Next, everyone was going to get 10 crowns (not 100 nobles) in hazard pay for their efforts as thanks from Tropor. Finally, as we were all still employees of the Darbeard’s, if we needed to train, they would be picking up the costs.
He wanted 3 weeks from us until such time he learned what happened and what the long game was of the Brinsters. We agreed and thanked Tropor and Savaris for their efforts, leaving the two men to further plot along while we went back to the longhouse to get some rest.