Another easy night passes on the Plains. As our duo finishes their morning routine and prepares to leave, an ominous feeling settles over the duo as they remember Oz Vidge and head towards the last Orc City between them and Marg Udzon. Khadel awaits just over the hills.
Leading our half-blood Laucian decides time is of the essence and the more direct route to Marg Udzon is necessary. Whereas following the river will take them directly to the city with no hopes of getting lost, it takes them further west out of the way. Laucian in a rare moment of clarity is at home as he leads Gorgamesh through the hills, through the trees, and across plains directly to the Orc City of Khadel; arriving on the outskirts as the sun reaches it's highest point in the sky. As the enter the outskirts of the city, an eery familiarity and feeling of dread begins to envelop Gorgamesh and Laucian.
Exactly the same … It's exactly the same as Oz Vidge. perhaps a year or two older, the buildings seem a bit more dilapidated, a few more buildings have succumbed to rot and weather and fallen under their own weight, and in the center of the city even the same central building has been destroyed for years. This time not by fire, but appears to have simply fallen under it's own weight around the same time everybody disappeared. Searching through the rotten debris, Gorgamesh finds a first in the dead cities; a piece of a corpse. The more he digs the more he finds: a femur, a hand, a jawbone. There is no whole corpse but there are pieces, small pieces scattered about here and there in the wreckage.
Recalling his time in the Orcen cities Gorgamesh remembers that this building and the burned building in Oz Vidge, the way they are central in the city and easily are key points in orc hierarchy. These were the gathering houses. Places where all orc leaders of a place would gather in times of need to discuss issues arising in their city or town. every orc settlement no matter how big or small had a place of gathering.
Time is running out, if both of these places are dead then Gorgamesh knows he must get home. quickly searching nearby buildings for a way to cure and preserve their Boar meat our duo preserves what they have and is quickly off again towards Marg Udzon. Through a broken and rotten Southern Gate, our duo makes haste towards the SouthWest. Another half day of travel away from the Orc City of Khadel and night is nearing once again.
In their haste, our duo has made much ground, Marg Udzon now lies only a half day of travel away. As daylight nears it's final hour our duo comes to an orc bridge spanning the river that leads to Marg Udzon, the bridge appears strong and has held up well. Searching for a small recess in the treeline near the water our duo beds down for the night amongst a small grove of ripened Yaupon trees, the sweet smelling berries and soft sound of running water nearby lulling our duo into a deep sleep moments after their eyes are shut.
crunch … crunch … SNAP … SNAP … the sound is almost deafening in the quiet night air as something comes blundering through our duo's makeshift alarm system, seemingly oblivious to the raucous noise being caused. Eyes snapped open, weapons at the ready, our duo rise to a fight as they see a number of skeletons blundering past them towards the bridge. Sitting quietly, the skeletons almost pass unaware of our duo. With an idle glance a skeleton catches sight of our duo and charges into the trees, drawing the attention of the remaining skeletons and a fight ensues.
before long a pile of corpses has formed a makeshift barrier around our duo, tripping anything that attempts to reach them. As the skeletons are almost wiped out more crunching can be heard coming around the trees, much heavier crunching. Just before the last skeleton can be destroyed an equal number of zombies rounds into sight and engages our duo. Laucian wielding his scythe and eviscerating the animated corpses, Gorgamesh calls upon the powers of Gruumsh and unleashes his power over the undead.
A small portion of the zombies now controlled, another portion cowering in awe, Gorgamesh commands his undead subjects to tear apart his enemies. First the threats are destroyed, then Gorgamesh turns his minions on those helpess and cowering. Tearing into the flesh and bone the zombies rip eachother to pieces until they are at last turned upon eachother and only 1 survives.
The champion has earned the honor of a glorious death, Gorgamesh, enlarged and empowered commands the zombie to attack him. Charging in full force and with full intent to kill Gorgamesh lets his Mace swing and with a single hit obliterates the remaining zombie. Pieces rain down over 30 yards as no piece bigger than a foot is left intact.
Resting the mace on his shoulder, a small glob of viscera proceeds to slide off the edge of Gorgamesh's mace, landing ride at Laucian's feet and splattering him in a fine mist.
What a fine way to wake up.