We headed east. The journey is not a short one, and we had to make camp.
Apparently, some Black-Skin traders came by during the night, or whatever one calls it down here. Brottor spoke with them and got some information, along with a flask of a drink similar to brandy. Apparently we would have to pass through Ogre territory to reach the Rhaen. They let travelers through, but only at a price.
We did meet the Ogres the next day. Jaridan, with the help of the tongues spell, attempted to trick the Ogres into thinking we had already paid. Sadly, it only complicated matters, as they sent off a Goblin to fetch their chief, Thorguk.
Tiring of waiting, we decided to attempt to sneak past them. The idea was to place a silence spell on the gong, then hit both Ogres with darkness when they investigated it and run past while they were both blind.
Again, our plans did not work out so well. One of the Ogres was not quite as dumb as he looked, and noticed Kyari’s spell. While he was too close to say anything about it, he got the attention of the other Ogre who started pounding on the walls.
The Ogres, for all their size, were not skilled warriors, and they fell swiftly.
We came up with a third plan. We would link arms, and Kyari cast a darkness spell on us, while Isabelle cast invisibility on Brottor. Brottor, just outside of the sphere of darkness, could see and would lead us through the caves. The idea was we would seem like nothing more than more of the endless shadows of this place.
Fate was not with us, however. After about 45 minutes of traveling like this, we stumbled upon what could only be Thorguk and about a twenty Ogres. As I understand it, he has an orb that detects magic, or people, or something, and he used it to realize we were there and dispelled our magical darkness.
I thought we were done for. Two Ogres in a narrow cave was one thing, but these brutes could easily surround us.
I believe Brottor felt similarly about our odds, and decided that a last-ditch attempt at diplomacy was our only hope. Being a Dwarf, this meant offering Thorguk some of the brandy he had bought from the Black-Skins earlier.
We managed to come up with an explanation that spared our lives while still being truthful enough for Brottor to feel comfortable with it. We told them that there had been confusion about how much we had to pay, and the sentries became mad and attacked us – all technically true.
The Ogres don’t seem to care much about the lives of their kinsmen, or at least Thorguk doesn’t. He was willing to forget about the two Ogres we had killed, and agreed to grant us passage to the Rhaen and back if we killed a creature that had been harassing the traders recently.
They took us to a small, narrow cavern, far too small for any ogre, which was why they didn’t kill the beast themselves. Down the passage we discovered a vile beetle that spit acids at us. With our weapons and the girls’ spells, we slew the beetle.
We removed its head as proof of our deed. This should buy us passage to the Rhaen.