The lords chose to keep the hydra, Bryn reducing its size to allow it safe passage through the stone corridors. They rested outside the kobold’s new home for the night. Their alarm woke them up in the middle of the night as they found themselves surrounded by nine orcs and three half-orcs split up into three parties. They descended upon them harshly, killing the hydra and stealing Bryn’s and Galienne’s horses. One group wrestled with the hill giant only to be dominated by his size. The group dealt with the rest cleanly with Eumelia charming two as her friends and Kalevi sprouting another tree to deal with a magician. Bryn’s sword and Galienne’s abilities swept up the rest of the groups. The half-orcs bore magical items. Bryn claimed a strength amplifying belt, Galienne claimed a bearskin amulet, and Eumelia took pipes that would create mystical sounds at her whim.
The two remaining survivors, one of the orc barbarians and a half-orc cleric, informed the group that they were just a raiding party that decided to take them on because they had a hydra and a hill giant, formidable enemies that would earn them honor back in their home. They came from a village of about 200 humanoids about a half-day’s journey to the south. They said that the party could come if they left the hill giant behind as his presence would antagonize the villagers. Eumelia told the hill giant to go home, aware that her spell would have worn off in a day or two anyway. They rested for the remainder of the night before packing up and traveling.
As they drew near to the village around noon, a horn sounded from within the walls. The captives told them that it was to make them alert, but as long as they did not draw weapons, they would be safe. The doors parted when they stood in front of them, and they were met by a huge, muscled orc with two hammers on his belt. Judging by what the two survivors from the raiding party told them, this impressive gentleman was Chief Brokenhand. He earned the name from his penchant in battle to violently disarm his foes. Kalevi did the talking, telling him of their intent and the barbarian army growing to the south. The chief realized that Kalevi was part orc and warmed a bit to her. When she was polite and offered her greatest respects, the village watchers cheered. She had apparently requested a friendly duel with the great chief.
They met in the pit a couple minutes later, a shaman overlooking the rules. Kalevi and Chief Brokenhand took turns choosing conditions. They had to fight with large warhammers, but Kalevi was able to keep magic allowed and the conditions nonlethal. Kalevi knew that the chieftain would easily take her out in an unprepared slugfest, so she bought as much time as she could by throwing out a tree feather token and casting spells while he turned the tree into splinters. Eventually, she came down and started to fight with him on equal terms. Her blurring effect kept her safe for a bit, but they traded various blows as the crowd roared. One particular lucky hit on Kalevi’s part made a deafening roar matched only by the onlookers’ vocal enthusiasm. Eventually, she was too bloodied and defeated by the chief’s punches, but she managed to visibly wound the great orc. Eumelia’s charmed friends said that the eighth orc did extremely well for lasting two minutes in the pit.
The chieftain took Kalevi to the back room, and Galienne healed them both. A druid healed the tree Kalevi made and walked it outside of the arena. The chieftain was happy and said that they would now hold a great feast for their new friends. Kalevi was recognized as a member of the tribe due to her blood and performance in battle. During the feast, they were allowed to sit at the chieftain’s table. Kalevi got to talk with the chief further about an alliance with Triptych and his tribe as well as other pleasant conversation. The chieftain’s wife was the only one to defeat him in the pit, and she had born him twenty-three strong children. She was currently away on a hunting trip. Eumelia performed during the feast, earning several livestock from awed viewers. The chief also gifted to the group his favored mount, a woolly rhinoceros he lovingly called “Hairy Bastard”. Kalevi thanked the chief for everything and promised aid should his people ever require it.
They left on the next day to continue exploring. They met with four dire wolves in the field that day, easily defeating them. Nothing noteworthy was found until the nineteenth when they came across a really old corpse. There was nothing they could do for the departed soul but found among his person a nearly spent ring of the ram as well as a strong whip imbued with holy and ice powers. Kalevi claimed the whip while the ring went into the communal bag.
They camped for the night but were awoken rudely by a pair of gorgons. One immediately breathed on the entire group, paralyzing everyone but Kalevi and the rhino in a thin layer of stone. Eventually, Galienne and Bryn shook it off, but Eumelia was unable to resist and was dragged to safety by her faithful dog. Bryn mounted the rhino and fought from there, using the rhino’s attacks as well. Galienne summoned a hound archon from the ether, and Kalevi instructed the group as well as sped up their movements. They were victorious without further problem. They took off their horns, knowing that they would fetch a decent price for their use as spell components.