Location: Risan Mountains, Northern Galanath
Characters: Namesk, Sdask, Churuth (all of the Murgoth)
The Murgoth Clan of frost orcs occupied the Risan Mountains – which were also occupied by a clan of dwarves and clans of goliaths. The dwarves were recent arrivals in the mountains, having moved in only nine generations ago for the Murgoth – nearly two hundred years ago. The dwarves had allied themselves with the goliaths, armoring and outfitting them and making them a powerful force against the orcs.
The Murgoth maintained small bands that wandered as nomads around the mountain range, only gathering together once a year in the early fall to trade and socialize. During their annual gathering in the 1,327th year since the ascension of the Karatikan, several of the bands realized that women and girls had been taken from all of them. Chief Namesk, an Frost Fist of the clans, had thought his daughter had run off. Chief Churuth, holder of one of the rare Ice Fangs, thought his wife lost. Chief Sdask, Master Hunter, had his wife, daughters, and even a niece taken from him by armed raiders in the night – raiders with dwarven and goliath foot prints.
Alone, the individual bands had too little power to deal with the dwarves – but when the bands came together at the annual gathering, their numbers were considerable. Chief Sdask was chosen to lead a deep strike force to retrieve the women, while the rest of the Murgoth Clan would assault the dwarven keep. Nearly forty of the finest of the frost orcs ran through the mountains and passes for two solid days to get ahead of the convoy of women heading west. They amassed more frost orcs as they went, gathering from those that had either not yet made it or had already left the gathering.
The convoy had goliaths, some armed with massive crossbows the size of ballistae. There were dwarves, perhaps half of them in full plate armor with massive battle axes. There were also humans, perhaps a dozen of them, making for a strange tableau before the ambushing Murgoth. And there were also orcs in the convoy – three strange orcs with greenish to brown skin, each of them dressed more heavily against the cold than anyone else in the convoy. And at the heart of the convoy were their women, chained together in two files, wearing little and yet still warmer than the rest of the convoy – for they were frost orcs.
Namesk, Sdask, and Churuth set up three separate groups in an ambush position well ahead of the convoy, complete with boulders and large logs to roll down onto the stealers-of-women. The first wave of the attack caught the convoy completely off guard, the chiefs ensuring that the women would not be harmed by errant boulders or logs. The second wave was a massed flight of atl atl driven spears, decimating the half the dwarves and most of the humans. The third wave was a straight up brawl as frost orcs ran down the slopes of the pass en mass.
The women took weapons from downed guards, adding to the chaos. Namesk's powers as Frost Fist let him blind and slow and chill many of the convoy without harming the women. Churuth used well-placed bolts from his Ice Fang, killing many enemies with its terrible cold. Sdask let fly spears and sling stones that broke skulls and in one case ejected the top of a skull from underneath a dwarven helm, felling a dwarf in one strike.
Namesk brought down the power of a blizzard on the convoy, and in the ensuing white out, only the frost orcs could win.
The foreign orcs died, their frozen skin covered in a strange layer of ice unlike anything the Murgoth had ever seen. Humans and strange orcs, working with dwarves and goliaths..? And why were all four races taking Murgoth women west – towards the sea? Many questions remained.
But the questions would have to wait, as the three chiefs gathered weapons, armor, and whatever they could carry. They had to return to the clan, and assist on the assault against the dwarven stronghold.
DM's Notes: Caileb had heard how much fun the guys had playing the Bog Orcs (IX-5-3), and they all wanted to play some more orcs. I've had Frost Orcs in the system for awhile, now, but never went into any kind of detail about their culture. Again, the guys helped me flesh out the Murgoth (Frost Orc) culture. Bill brought up an interesting point: With orc females being so rare in Rakore, orc females of other kinds might be in high demand.