Ogre Under the Hill – Introduction
Here’s an outline of the events from our last gaming session, starting with the intro…
The adventure opened with the characters all finding themselves in the village of Briar Hill on a pleasant spring day. They are in the village for various reasons:
- Ferghus – Bounty Hunter (Devilkin Ranger) – In Briar Hill looking for the notorious thief, Valden Miir, who was said to have family in the area.
- Arkath – Conjuror (Human Magic User) – Traveled to Briar Hill at the behest of his former mentor the wizard, Balzeroth the Azure Mage, to pick up a some rare herbs.
- Glyn – Rake (Human Rogue) – Was passing through Briar Hill on the way to the Appenzaller Confederation, then on to the Middenreik.
- Grimstad – Raider (Orgar Barbarian) – Was also passing through Briar Hill in the company of Glyn.
Here’s the background that was read to the characters:
Five years past, an ogre moved into the caves under Trollsfell Hill. The local reeve, Malken Endercot, initially gathered some men to confront the ogre. However, upon arriving at Trollsfell Hill, Malken was able to come to an accomadation with the ogre and avoid bloodshed. For the price of a barrel of ale, mundane supplies, and one sheep every 6 months, Briar Hill purchased the services of Gorst the ogre.
The arrangement has been beneficial to both parties. Over the years, the ogre has been able to chase off bandits, kill a giant spider, and scare off a pack of wolves. Meanwhile, much of Gorst’s basic needs have been met, though there have been issues over missing sheep…
However, all of this changed yesterday. The reeve went to deliver Gorst’s goods, meeting him at the crossroads where the Old North Road runs into the Apenzall Way. With him was a Kings Ranger named Meldrin and an old farmer named Wat. They waited until it was almost dark and were ready to turn around when they were ambushed by both the ogre and several vile orcs. The reeve went down immediately from orc arrows, the ranger fought valiantly against the ogre but was also killed. Wat was injured but was allowed to live so that he could deliver the Ogre’s demands:
The ogre wants 500 gold, 4 sheep, and 5 kegs of ale every month delivered to Trollsfell Hill. In addition, he wants an annual tribute of two residents of Briar Hill, to do with as he pleases. The first payment must be delivered tomorrow evening as the sun sets.
To seemingly emphasize that he means business, last night Gorst and his orc allies burned the farm of the widower, Largen Shannock, killing him and carrying away his daughter
Now the men folk of Briar Hill and the farms nearby have gathered at the Crow’s Perch a popular tavern in Briar Hill . The place is currently in an uproar. A crowd of about 40 men have squeezed into the small tavern – including the characters. The windows are open and a cool morning breeze wafts in from the south.
The townmoot, as the meeting is called, goes on for an hour. Initially, most wanted to send for either the Kingsmen or ask for the local Baron for help, but getting help from the King’s Men could easily take weeks, while few want to be beholden to Castle Malidor and Baron Ardrimax. So, Mayor Tharmorton, with his eyes on the characters, proposes they hire “experienced and brave warriors” to slay the ogre and his foul orc allies, or at least drive them away. He then points out all four of the characters as seemingly experienced men who seem perfect for the job.
Surprised by the turn of events, the characters are introduced. After some hesitation, the characters agree amongst themselves to take on the task at hand. Glyn negotiates a payment of 600 gold for the party to take care of the problem. With an oath and the shaking of hands an agreement is reached. The characters are cheered by the townsfolk and are plied with drink and food before they set out. During this time, they find out more information about Gorst and Trollsfell Hill:
Trollsfell Hill got it’s name for the old troll that used to live there. It was killed 60 years ago.
Before the Troll, the place was known as Otho’s End. The caves were the home of Red Otho, the so called ‘Bandit King’. He terrorized the area 100 years ago until both him and his band mysteriously disappeared. He is said to be buried under Trollsfell Hill with much of his blood soaked treasure. However, others have been to the hill before the Ogre came and no one ever found a tomb or any sign of the treasure.
Before Otho, the caves were worked over by some dwarves, they mysteriously disappeared as well.
The local priest, Prior Ulmar, recommends the character speak with the woodsman, Tarik Wesdown (aka Tarik Trollsbane or Tarik One-arm). It was he who killed the troll 60 years ago though he lost an arm in the process. He should have been at the townmoot, but Tarik and the mayor detest each other.
(More to come…)