As the blood cools in the newly finished body of Shadow Killa-1 and night gets on it’s way, more and more orcs appear to be arriving into the the cliff settlement of the Bloodsword tribe. They set up in small groups on the dusty marching ground, and campfires begin to alight. Clouds rumble in overhead, heavy roiling masses of black and gray. Lightning crackles intermittently in the distance. The Gardener knows there is going to be a down pour, a storm, of blade and blood.
The party prepares for the next day, deciding on a plan of attack. Because Selmark can speak the Northern Orcish dialect of Giant, they reach the conclusion that they must take a hostage to learn more information about the tribe… and the upcoming ritual combat.
As dawn of the next day approaches they notice a flurry of activity begin to overtake the camp, as great banners and offerings are set out around the cliff side. Some semblance of order has taken place in the rapidly filling expanse in the center of the town, as incoming bands of (thirty to sixty) warriors pour in to set up their bivouacs and begin to clean their weapons. Up on the cliffsides, huts and buildings are being painted with orcish markings in bright red colored dyes. Heavily armored orc headmen begin to inspect the markings, patrolling at ease while the tribesmen rush around them carrying stacks of fortifications and decorative totems. (Orcs with one eye and strange clothing and headdresses seem to be directing the preparations)
The party watches as this unfolds, realizing that they will be severely outnumbered but not outgunned. They watch the ritual take place and Althir decides that his approach must offer a greater level of theatrics. The Orcs must know fear and awe in the presence of his dark majesty, and they shall. The honor guard that Althir receives will be strange and terrifying to the orcs, the heavily armored battle wights and the creeping vines of the Arboreans.
Selmark receives a warning from the Pyramid’s scanners:
“Commotion in the camp, appears to have started in the region near where the orc children were captured. It is led by a heavily armed and armored orc, who appears to hold a position of moderate to possibly high importance, based off the level of ornamentation and the amount of adornments to his person. He appears to be heading in the direction of the pyramid. Approximate arrival time: 15 minutes.”
He quickly brings the situation to the attention of Althir, and the party gathers to discuss their options.
Further examination reveals:
(He is suiting up, getting additional orcs together as a sort of honor guard, discussing with the shaman, eventually talking to the War Chief who stares up at the pyramid) (He is Stok Jrok, a veteran orc subchief whose children were killed. He is a heavier set orc and he is pissed off. He’s yelling and waving around a big ol’ double sided greataxe as his aides struggle to outfit his armor. He stares up at the pyramid and shouts orders out. He has red and yellow markings painted on his face in a orcish blade mark symbol.) (He’s about 6’3" maybe 260, barrel chested with a severe underbite with large tusks. Closer examination reveals a chain tied from his arm to his weapon.)
A consensus is reached on the best course of action. A lighting surgical strike abduction, done under the cover of darkness. SK-1 and Malkin are the prime candidates for this mission. Their dual prong attack catches the War Chief off guard, despite technical difficulties in SK-1’s new body. Malkin quickly chained the War Chief and held him tight until SK-1 could activate his knockout attack subroutine. With that the party beamed back up, and Selmark and the Gardener went to work. The Gardener meted out healing as he surgically installed veins into the captured Chief’s tissue, designed to cause maximum pain while doing little real damage to the structure. When these vines were completed, Selmark stepped forth to interrogate the prisoner.
They learned many valuable things (please expand)
The plan to receive the blessing of Gruumsh was hatched, to impress upon the Orc masses the superiority of the Shadow. (please expand)
The orcs give the pyramid some distance, continuing about their work. Roughly halfway through the day the orcs begin a ritual feast and an elaborate ceremony begins centered around the Warchief. He recieves many gifts and offerings, many symbolic and archaic. (skeletal statues, carved pieces of wood, small hatchets, a blanket). The shamans begin gathering around him and blessing him. This proceeds for roughly an hour before the Warchief returns to his hut, with a cadre of other orcs. Most of them look like leaders though there appears to be a significant number of guard orcs and aides. (Main figures seem to include warrior types, both aged veterans and tough young berserkers, and a handful of holymen and priests) The younger warriors leave first in later afternoon, followed by a handful of the veterans shortly after. The rest remained inside until sundown.
Althir went to the temple of Gruumsh (please expand)
An elaborate procession leaves the War Chiefs rustic palace. An honor guard leads the Warchief in full battle regalia down the steps as war drums echo across the canyon. (Armed and outfitted fully to the teeth, the Warchief appears to be wearing a well made full plate suit of armor. It has been painted over, orange and red in a frightening pattern with jagged edges and the Bloodsword clan marking is painted on his face. His hair has been groomed through tiny steel skulls.)
Cheers and roaring erupts from his tribe who have been worked into a frenzy by the drums. Thunder cracks overhead and lightening flashes in the distance. Torches have been around Bloodsword, turning it into a fearsome scene of shadow and flickering flame. Great braziers are ignited on the speaking stone and the chieftain awaits your challenge.
Althir walks up to take the challenge (please expand)
As you stand before him several aides hail out a blast on an Orcish horn. The valley erupts with screams of the orc warriors. A violent chant of “WAAAGH! THUKK!! WAAAGH! THUK!!” The Warchief raises his fist. And the cries stop, he looks around, surveying his people, surveying you. He shouts out in booming orcish:
I am Nothgar! I am Bloodsword! All you see belongs to I who slew Lherk Ro, who slew Ghatzla the bold, who slew Harrik Bloodletter! Nothgar owns in the name of Gruumsh as the mightiest, strongest, most fearsome warrior in this land. Nothgar owns the biggest cattle, the best land, the most fearsome warriors and the greatest throne in Gharj. Nothgar has owned a score and three years of the Bloodswords and Nothgar’s property has multiplied and grown strong! cheers Because Nothgar is meanest/biggest/toughest/cleverist warlord!!! more cheers Now Black man seeks to challenge me! I own him and his cargo! Nothgar owns all in his sight!
Now in broken common, he turns at you: “Ya sekth ckallenge mer, Nothgar? Ba riith os te Blak blayde ios ekxcepk. Buy te Eiye, Nothgar scall kull ya!”
He places his helmet on and he walks for ward to the blood red rock in the middle of the speaking stone. He stands as two smaller orcs rush out and secure a clasp around his ankle, chaining him to the red rock on a chain leash. There is one for you as well…
Althir stares down Nothgar and prepares for combat (please expand)
The sky cracks open with lightning and heavy drops pour from the sky. The Blade of Althir begins to steam in the downfall of the rainstorm.