The Thing About Orcs 2

A 5 & 9 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)
Continuing from the last episode of The Thing About Orcs.
DM Notes:
This episode was a hard one for both my Player and I.  He is now a Blooded warrior and faced many difficult challenges.  Knowing this would happen and having to DM a Lawful Evil society, we discussed how far we both wanted to delve into this evil society while gaming.
As there are many versions of what Lawful Evil means, here is how we defined it for our game:
General Population:
Law abiding traditionalists, but uncompassionate, bigoted and merciless.
Law will maintain the status quo with harsh punishments for any transgressions.  Governments are draconian and everything is driven by a person's social ranking; those of high station can get away with almost anything, whereas those of low station can be killed on a whim.
Basic Individual:
As Lawful Evil, you are a villain that methodically takes what you want, within the limits of your code of conduct without regard of whom it hurts. You care about tradition, loyalty, and order, but not about freedom, dignity, or life. You play by the rules, but without mercy or compassion.  You condemn others not according to their actions but according to race, religion, homeland, or social rank. You are loath to break laws or promises.  Lawful Evil is sometimes called "Diabolical" because devils are the epitome of Lawful Evil.  Lawful Evil is the most dangerous alignment because it represents methodical, intentional, and frequently successful evil.
As you can see this type of society is a very nasty place full of horrid actions, slavery and vile abuses, where people can be killed on a whim and those with power get away with anything.
Raas, being at the bottom of this power structure, was hard pressed to survive as his Chaotic Neutral alignment conflicted directly with the society's.  As above, here is how we defined his Alignment:
Basic Individual:
As Chaotic Neutral, you follow your whims.  You are an individualist first and last.  You value your own liberty but don't strive to protect other's freedom.  You avoid authority, resent restrictions, and challenge traditions.  You don't intentionally disrupt organizations as part of a campaign of anarchy.  To do so, you would have to be motivated by either good or evil.  Chaotic Neutral is the best alignment you can be because it represents true freedom both from society's restrictions and from a do-gooder's zeal.

During the game there were a few places where we decided to gloss over what most likely occurred -- as we both just didn't want to go there.  I will place censored summary DM notes in those places.

The Adventurers: (aka the Player Characters)
Name Class Level Gender Race Brief Description
Raas Naska Fighter 2 Male Half-Orc N/A
Session Start: Saturday - 8:00 pm
Location: Southern Durnite
Game Date: The 18th day, in the month of Tending, in the year of the Gold Hunter, 6th Age, 941 years after the Great Crossing.
Moon Phase: Waxing Crescent
The Krigare's return with three heavily laden treasure wagons and 18 new slaves drew much attention and the 12 newly Blooded warriors also caught the eyes of any Daughters watching -- for them it was always good to watch the rise of Blooded that might become potential mates.
Raas, wearing the prizes he had been granted by the Krigare, strutted at the head of the 11, just behind the veteran Blooded and Firsts.  More than one Daughter took stock of him even though he was only a half-blood.  His newly acquired Mail and Plate armour and exquisite long sword showed that he had accounted himself greatly in the battle.  Such status symbols on a newly Blooded showed that the Krigare thought much of him.  This also drew the eye of many warriors -- they also watched the rise of the Blooded, but for darker reasons.  They noted upcoming rivals that might challenge them so that they might kill them off at an opportune moment.
For the next two days, the newly Blooded were kept in the great Mead Hall and taught what would now be expected of them -- all the years of being unblooded had protected them from many things, but now they were Blooded warriors and could be challenged and even killed by other Blooded.  They also were now expected to take on guard duties and many other tasks -- including taking part in more raids and training to become better warriors.  After all of this the Krigare held a Feast for them the following night.
DM Notes: Here Raas had his first real exposure to male adult Orcish life. He got severely drunk, ate many things he had never had before and bedded his first woman -- one of the many slaves present at the Feast for just that reason.
The next day Raas woke up with a severe hangover and was surprised with another grant of Merit by the Krigare -- a slave -- Raas picked the one he had bedded. Having a slave also got him better quarters further from the outer wall of town then he would have gotten as a newly Blooded. Instead of having to share a house with 15 other warriors, he was stationed in a house with 3 other Blooded who also had been granted the use of a slave, each with their own private room. The veteran Blooded who showed Raas his lodging took an evil liking to his slave; something that Raas intervened on.
DM Notes: Here some vile and gross things happened that started to open Raas' eyes to the real world that he had been sheltered from as an unblooded.
The next day after returning early from training, he found that same veteran abusing his property. Enraged, he killed him with a single blow from his new sword. Not really knowing what to do, he dragged the decapitated body into the street and told the house slaves to clean up the mess. After a few minutes, Raas remembered something about gaining the personal property of your defeated foe -- he took the head with him to find out what he might have gained. This lead to him getting 3 more slaves, double the coins than he had and better lodgings further from the edge of town. Here he would only be sharing a house with only one other Orc. Dughol was older with many battle scars and Merits -- he was abrupt and told Raas that he should keep to his parts of the house and that his slaves had best do their part to keep the house in order or he'd kill them himself. Dughol also told him that he knew who his sire was and that wouldn't stop him from killing Raas if he got out of hand with him.
Location: Southern Durnite
Game Date: The 23rd day, in the month of Tending, in the year of the Gold Hunter, 6th Age, 941 years after the Great Crossing.
Moon Phase: First Quarter
One of the Krigare's Mystics, Shurn, had taken notice of Raas. He was putting together a small Raiding party to strike fear into the human settlements -- they were becoming bolder and moving farther into the Orcs domain. The Krigare allowed for him to take 8 new warriors along and he had chosen Raas as one of them. It was a 3 day trip to the first settlement. During the trip the Mystic cast spells to detect sites where there were dead bodies and encamped there. He would then cast spells to animate them, creating an undead army for their use. On the first day, Shurn noticed Raas watching him with interest so he called him over and got him to assist with the raising of the dead. The stronger the blood used, the more powerful the undead. Even though it was extremely painful, Raas grimaced through it and aided in the spell casting each day.
By the time they reached the human settlement, Shurn had over 50 undead under his control. They waited until deep into the night to attack. To show these Orcs the might of Skrie and the weakness of the humans, he prepared an impressive display of magic and mayhem. To begin with, he started out by inciting the Orcs into a frenzy then he turned towards the settlement and called down stroke after stroke of lightning which he used to blast holes in their palisade and to bring down their homes. Once he was done with that, he waited as the humans staggered from the wreckage then he sent the undead army in. As the screams of terror and the scent of blood reached them, the young Orcs roared and charged into the fray.
DM Notes:
Here again some vile and gross things happened.
In the end, Raas seemed to think that the Orc's faith in Skrie the Dark Lord was justified and proved that the humans were weak and pathetic bugs. A few things disturbed him, but not enough to override the show of power and the oratory of Shurn.
As a DM, sometimes your plans backfire and the players don't go the way you think they should... The player was true to the character, so that just meant we'd have to work harder to make Raas see that he didn't fit in and needed to leave.
The settlement had been taken easily and they celebrated their victory by ransacking the place -- filling 2 farm wagons with loot. Shurn let them celebrate for 3 days while he animated the dead to join his army -- none of the humans survived -- so that he now had over 100 undead at his command. He sent an Orc back with the 2 wagons, using 20 of his skeleton undead to pull them. He gathered his remaining Orcs and headed to the next settlement.
The next night they were once again in position, but this settlement was much larger and better defended. Shurn repeated his performance, except for inciting his men -- he didn't know if it would turn out to be as easy a kill. This time it took more lightning strikes to bring down the palisade, so fewer houses were hit. The numbers of undead certainly got attention, but this settlement was well prepared and seemed to have guardsmen who also knew how to deal with undead. It was a good thing that he had kept the Orcs back this time.
Then something Shurn wasn't expecting happened; a group of 5 humans positioned themselves near the front of the battle and soon after a ripple of visible power washed over the combatants. The undead nearest them crumbled and fell to the ground destroyed, freeing the guardsmen to retreat behind them. The undead shambled towards the 5 again only to be hit again and again until none remained.
As Shurn watched his undead army get obliterated, he was already casting and preparing to hurt those humans. He looked at his Orcs and declared "Feel the power of Skrie fools!" as he pointed at the pentad. Strike after strike slammed down on them so much so that the full Orcs had to look away it was so bright. As the afterimages faded, all the Orcs could see that the pentad was completely unharmed.
Then in an empowered voice the central figure boomed out "May the power of the High Lord burn your evil away!" as he brought up his fist and dropped it in their direction. Raas barely perceived Shurn slap his horse into motion, but it was enough for him to follow, but not quick enough -- a wall of fire dropped on him. In fact the wall was shaped into a large cylinder that descended on their position completely capturing all but Shurn and even he hadn't been fast enough to get away unscathed -- the wall had come down on his back and horse’s flank. Raas was tossed right through the wall by his horse's death throes. Shurn saw Raas tumble out behind him and knew that he would die if he didn't do something. So swearing, he pulled out a rod, hit his own horse then rolled off it and hit Raas with it -- within moments his horse was the one aflame and dying and Raas was extinguished and alive.
Shurn knew that they needed to get back and warn the Krigare of this settlement, so he animated their dead smouldering horses. Raas was unconscious for the entire trip back to town. It took him over 10 days to fully recover.
Session Stop: Sunday - 1:00 am - Sunday 4:00 pm
Location: Southern Durnite
Game Date: The 15th day, in the month of Warming, in the year of the Gold Hunter, 6th Age, 941 years after the Great Crossing.
Moon Phase: New Moon
The new moon had come again and Raas had been a Blooded warrior for almost a full month when Brundi -- one of the slaves he had won -- gave birth to a female half-orc. During this, his roommate had gone for a Wife to preside over the birth.
DM Notes: Here again some nasty stuff happens due to the laws of the Orc society, which is Matriarchal. Suffice it to say, the baby and mother don't survive the encounter.
Both Raas and his roommate left the house as all the slaves broke down due to the deaths. Raas was warned that they may have to kill all their slaves because of this. When they returned, Raas forced liquor into his slaves and they pass out. The other Orc wasn't as smart and his slaves tried to kill him, Raas killed one to save him and watched as he slaughtered the remaining slaves. Luckily Raas' slaves were drunk and unconscious so they were not also killed.
DM Notes: Some more really nasty stuff occurs, which disturbs Raas so much that he starts to question everything. He decides that he needs to leave -- he fears what all this means and what more might occur. He is also falling for the slave that the Krigare gave him -- Saera by name -- and thinks that she may be pregnant with his seed.
Raas spent days trying to find a way to get himself and his remaining 3 slaves out of town. But because he was only a Blooded warrior, he cannot fully own property and therefore can't take the slaves from the town. He resigned himself to playing the game and waiting for an opportunity to present itself so that he could escape with all of them.
He decided that the only way he'd be able to do this was to become a First -- they were able to own property -- so he participated in 5 more raids and another settlement attack over the next 2 months. In all 6 engagements he gained Merits from the Krigare or the First in command. The problem was, this also brought him to the attention of Shela -- a young Daughter -- who took great interest in him; so much so that she even declared him as a potential mate.
Location: Southern Durnite
Game Date: The 18th day, in the month of Celebration, in the year of the Gold Hunter, 6th Age, 941 years after the Great Crossing.
Moon Phase: Waxing Crescent
After more than 3 months of being a Blooded, he got another unwanted surprise -- Shela told Raas that she was pregnant; most likely with twins or triplets. Now he had to worry about two pregnant women, Shela would be fine no matter what happened, because she was a Daughter of a powerful Matron. But remembering what happened to Brundi, he wondered if what would happen to Saera and her babies if they were still here.
Finally it looked as though that opportunity might just occur; the next day the Krigare congratulated him on his and Shela's upcoming birth. He offered him a holding in an outlying area -- once Shela had given birth and became a Wife -- as long as he swore allegiance to the Krigare and became one of his Firsts. But would all this happen in time to save Saera and their children?
How long did it take for humans to gestate compared to Orcs? He didn't know.
-- To Be Continued --
Session End: Monday - 1:00 am