The Thing About Orcs

A 6 Hour Solo Gaming Session Of AD&D

2nd Edition (Spikehelm Campaign World)

The Back Story: (aka the idea that became the setup for this game)
I challenged one of my players to stretch himself a bit, since he'd been in a bit of a rut. I told him that he was free to create anything he wanted, within good sense, but I wanted it to be in a style that he normally didn't play. I'm talking about personality and not class or race here. We talked a great deal about the world and discussed the pros and cons of various combinations -- It took about 3 hours for us to just figure out what he was going to play!
In the end he chose to play a large Half-Orc Fighter. He also decided that he wanted to start from within an Orc tribe -- As I only allow non-evil heroics in my AD&D games this was a very difficult choice as he would have to keep to his Chaotic Neutral alignment while living in a Lawful Evil society.
DM Notes: As a DM there are times when you don't have enough people to play a full game, in this case a solo game, but you still want to go forward. Sometimes you'll also have players that you think needs or wants some help. Solo games are perfect for this, as it gives you the ability to give them your full attention.
The Adventurers: (aka the Player Characters)
Name Class Level Gender Race Brief Description
Raas Naska Fighter 1 Male Half-Orc N/A
Introduction: Raas Naska
Raas was an unblooded of the Black Yarbul Tribe. He was a half-breed, half Orc, half human -- which had caused him much trouble growing up, but not after he grew into his full power. He was a large and powerful specimen who was also intelligent; those traits were what kept him from being discarded into the disposable infantry with the other half-breeds, goblins and slaves. His father, a powerful Krigare (war leader), was so impressed by his fighting ability that he allowed him to add his name to his own. This was as much of a bloodline as a half-breed could ever have. Tonight, Raas would go raiding and if he was very lucky he would earn the title of Blooded.
Session Start: Saturday - 4:00 pm ( Actual Start - 7:00 pm due to adventure discussions and PC generation )
Location: Southern Durnite
Game Date: The 17th day, in the month of Tending, in the year of the Gold Hunter, 6th Age, 941 years after the Great Crossing.
Moon Phase: New Moon
Rass was jumped from behind, before he fully realised it he was flipping the attacker off -- it was only Grumsh, a fellow unblooded and the closest thing that Raas had to calling a friend.  As they were tousling on the ground a Blooded came over and kicked them apart to tell them to get their asses to the arena.  The Krigare wanted to talk to them.
They arrived to find a fast growing group of unbloodeds.  The Krigare was there with 5 other Blooded and Firsts.  Soon the Krigare was telling them of an armed caravan that had intruded into his domain and that they would get a chance to earn their Blooded status by taking it.  By threes they were assigned to a Blooded or First, even the Krigare took three.  Raas and Grumsh were unlucky enough to be two of those that he picked.  The Krigare quickly went through some basic tactics to take a caravan.
It took over an hour for the raiding party to find the caravan, but when they did it was fully dark.  There was no moon and a storm had moved in which hid what little light the stars would have given the humans.  In their fear of the dark, they had placed small fires at the perimeter and four large fires within their circled wagons -- All that did was blind them to the approach of the raiding party.
With a fierce battle cry, the Krigare himself lead the way, maiming two of the outer guard as he charged through and kicked out the first of the inner fires.  His unblooded followed and attacked with a vengeance.
Raas' first enemy didn't even slow him down, his heavy combat sword cut clean through, from crotch to shoulder and fell away in two pieces.  He felt something crease his head, but continued on and engaged two more guards. Again a quick exchange and two more were dead.  The Krigare noticed this and roared at him, "Stop killing all my slaves!  Maim them!"  To demonstrate this he picked up one of the humans and threw him into another, knocking them both senseless.
The other Firsts and their unblooded had gained the inner ring and began taking out the other three fires.  Now, plunged into near total darkness the humans started to panic, but then three Orcs fell with arrows in their backs.  With more roars and battle cries, two different groups turned their attention towards the now visible archers on the roofs of the two heavy wagons.
Raas continued fighting and winning.  He was using his re-sheathed sword as a club, slamming it into their pain points, legs, throats and heads -- wherever he could to put them down without killing them.  That was until he saw one of them kill Grumsh.  His sword flashed out of the scabbard and he charged with a roar!
The human was ready for him and was wearing heavy metal armour and wielding a fine sword.  In his first pass the human was able to fend off Raas' attacks -- mostly due to the tight space between the wagons.  In their second and third pass they were matched, but in the fourth Raas' sword snapped near the hilt.
They looked at each other for only a moment before the human pressed his advantage sweeping down with his sword.  Raas punched him in the face first causing the human's attack to falter long enough for Raas to punch him again, but he hit the metal breastplate and nearly broke his hand.  Laughing the human stepped back and hacked at him.  He blocked with the remnants of his sword and through sheer strength held it back, allowing Rass to punch him again and again until he heard something crack and the human stopped struggling.
Raas quickly took up the dead man's sword and turned to find his next target.  Most of the humans were down, but so were many of the Orcs, including a First.  The clashing of swords drew the attention of the remaining Orcs.  The Krigare was in a pitched battle against a small human who was lightning fast and wielding 2 small swords -- Raas considered them large daggers.  All three of their blades were a blur of motion so fast the sparks were a flowing trail and as they danced the human even managed to kill 2 Orcs that got too close to the fight -- the rest quickly decided to stay well clear.
Something went wrong, the Krigare roared and the human almost flew on to a horse and was away before anyone could stop her.  Raas wondered why, then he saw it, the woman had left one of her swords impaled in his foot.
That ended the battle -- all there was left to do was tally the results.  Losses, 7 unblooded and 1 First.  Gains 18 slaves out of 36.
Three Mystics arrived shortly after on horseback, they attended to their wounded and then looked over the slaves and healed those that wouldn't survive without it, the rest were left to heal on their own.  Skrie's powers were not meant to be wasted on the weak, but a living slave was worth something.
Afterwards, the Krigare called for an accounting of the battle from each Orc.  Every unblooded had earned their Blooded status.  The Krigare gave Raas and one of the Blooded extra merit for their counts -- which came with their choice of prizes from this raid.  At the same time the Mystics were preparing for the ritual of the Blooded.  They had already gathered two slaves that were mortally wounded and bled them -- there was no point in killing perfectly useful slaves.
The Ritual of the Blooded began, the Krigare took the blade from the Mystic and cut the heart from the last useless slave -- it was the human that had given Raas so much trouble.  He then cut it into 4 pieces, the first was offered to the ranking Mystic, the next he took himself and the last two went to Raas and the Blooded that gained merit.  As the Mystics completed their chanting, those with the heart ate it as the other Mystics passed around the goblets of steaming blood to the newly Blooded.  It was a heady experience, the spells cast over the blood allowed them to take on the strength of the fallen.  All the Orcs feasted on the dead -- the remaining slaves kept very still and quiet while the orgy of death went on around them.
Before the sun fully came up the Orcs regained their wits, gathered up the wagons and slaves and headed home.
-- To Be Continued --
Session End: Saturday - 10:00 pm