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Orcs Bane
By Greg Svenson
(Revised 5/23/2007)

Did you ever wonder why the Orcs put a price on Svennyís head? It started early in our campaign. I was just called Svenny in those days. In fact, I donít remember when the "Great" was added, it just happened. Anyway, I had already found magic mithral plate armor (+1) and a magic sword. The sword was called "maroon" and had "Orcs bane" engraved on it. I had not yet learned all the things the sword could do, but it had served me well in combat.

Before this adventure happened we had gone on many previous expeditions into the dungeon. We had given up on trying to draw maps when I was present, because I had come to be able to memorize the parts of the dungeon that I had visited, so the group just counted on me to guide them. On a previous trip we had found the throne room of Frederick the 1st, king of the Orcs (played by Fred Funk) on the 10th level. At the time, they were busy using it so we didnít disturb them; vowing to return later.

It has been along time and I do not remember who all went on the expedition. There were about a half dozen of us. I do remember that Mello the hobbit (played by Mel Johnson), an elf (played by Marty Noetzel), and Debelfry the dwarf (played by Dave Belfry) were among the party. We had discovered a route to the 9th level that was fairly quick and which we had basically already cleared of bad guys, which we planned to take. We planned to go down to the throne room, find the treasure room, loot it and return.

We didnít get far before we encountered somebody we didnít expect. The Balrog (played by John Soukup)! Svenny had developed a healthy respect for him in our first encounter (read that as "deep fear"!) and thought we were in for a big fight. But he didnít attack. He wanted to talk. It seems that he and Frederick had had a falling out and he wanted to take his revenge on Frederick and the Orcs. With some trepidation we accepted him in our party and continued.

The trip down was totally uneventful, except for the meeting with the Balrog. On the 9th level we followed the passage back to a point where a staircase went down on either side of the corridor. We remembered that the stairs came down behind and on each side of the throne. We could see that there were just a few guards in the throne room, so our plan was going well. The king and the majority of the Orcs were elsewhere.

We split into two groups; Svenny went down the left stairs with Mello and Debelfry. The rest of the party went down the right stairs. We quickly and quietly dispatched the guards and then started searching for the treasure chamber. We found a secret door under the throne, which led into the treasure room. We did it!

While we were looking at the loot an alarm was sounded and Orcs began streaming into the throne room from the numerous side passages, hundreds of Orcs. We had stirred up a hornetís nestÖ

I took a position to the left of the throne while the Balrog was on the right. Our compatriots kind of hung back shooting arrows from the stairs and meleeing with the Orcs that came around our flanks.

The battle was long and bloody. Svenny had killed 108 Orcs before he collapsed on the floor (he had finally fallen to 0 hit points). The Balrog covered Mello and Debelfry while they stacked sacks of gold on his chest and started dragging him up the stairs. I had been afraid that the Balrog would turn on us, but he turned out to be quite valiant in guarding our rear. The Balrog eventually fell and died, he too had killed more than 100 Orcs during the battle (although I wasnít counting his kills like I had Svennyís). Once he fell the Orcs started streaming up the stairs pursuing us. During our flight I lost track of the other guys as they had become separated from us. I donít even remember if they got out or not.

As Mello and Debelfry dragged me, they kept on stopping to wake Svenny up, to ask him which way to go to get out. There were several small parties of Orcs that reached us that my companions were able to kill, but there were constant echoes of Orcs running and shouting in the passages around us.

We had been cut off from our original route down. At one point, I think that it was on the 4th level, we stopped in a storeroom to rest. They decided to hide the gold sacks here to lighten their load. We never recovered them.

It was a dramatic moment when Mello and Debelfry finally opened a door into the castle basement with seven Orcs chasing us up the corridor, when we were inundated with holy water. We had made it. When the Orcs saw the castle guards at the door they turned back, cursing us.

The Bishop healed Svennyís wounds and I was back in action the next week. I had, however, become a stench in the nostrils of King Frederick the 1st and the Orcs. The Orcs put a bounty on my head. I think that this led them to make their alliance with the Egg that eventually led to them sacking Blackmoor while we "good guys" were off on an extended wilderness adventure.

So, that is how Svenny became hated by the OrcsÖ