I have not longed for the serenity of the Shimmerwood Forest since I left it, but after our ordeal in the crypts I found my thoughts drifting to home often. It wasn’t the wound itself that burdened me so, it was the sense of dread that filled my bones. We have decided to head west, and while the rest of the group makes travel preparations I used the time to rest.
Traveling to Blasingdell was a refreshing change of scenery. Our first day was uneventful, aside from the howling of wolves in the night. On our second day we barely noticed a group of hill orcs set up to ambush us. We dealt with them and continued on. Reaching Blasingdell we stabled the horses and I rested again while the rest gathered what information they could about Khundrukar.
It took us two days to reach the mountain and then to find the old hidden trail that we had learned of in all of our research. By then we had to camp before we could head up the mountain. That night we were attacked by strange creatures. They looked like giant bats with long snouts that they tried to suck our blood with. We killed several of them until Jacare had us put out the fire. After that they bothered us no more.
We found what we think is Khundrukar. It was, as one would expect of any dwarven fortress, a fight to gain entrance. I do not hold orcs in high regard, but when they hold the defenses of a dwarven keep they are much harder to kill. If I stood behind the arrow slits of this keep I think I would have exacted a heavier toll on the enemy. Lucky for us many of our warriors had shields. We would advance by covering sections of the wall and then the rest of us had to advance. When we gained entrance things got a bit tricky though. While Badger, Jacare and Benus made sure arrow slits were covered it was left to Moonglum, Varis, and I to gain entrance past a set of large carved stone doors. They appeared to be barred from the other side, so there was little I could do. Moonglum however performed some strange arcane ritual, and after a loud, resounding boom the door cracked open just a bit. A bit more pushing and we got it open. Now we faced a deep, dark natural chasm that could only be crossed by a dangerously frayed looking rope bridge. Oh, and the orc archers that were shooting at us as well. Varis and Moonglum devised a plan and I started returning fire at our enemy. Varis sprinted towards the chasm and then, well it’s almost as if he flew across the expanse. When he reached the other side all but 1 of the orcs were lying on the ground, asleep, thanks to Moonglum. After dealing with the orcs, and now having to fashion a new bridge since the original was lost in the battle, we all made our way across. We had managed to capture 1 orc and Jacare interrogated him. We found out little. This tribe has been here for decades and is led by The Great Ulfe. It seems there are about 50 members of the tribe. If they use the defenses of the fortress well, it will be a hard fight.