While the other orcs fell quickly, Og proved to be a formidable warchief. Dealing with the lesser units of the orc invasion, the party was soon left with Og and his two trusted defenders. Vesis did his best to keep the two orc berserkers occupied, dealing out damage but slowly being worn down himself. Sahir and Trazelle took the fight to Og, but Og wasn’t big on standing in one place for long. Dashing past the two, he sliced his large blade into Merric and Eman, who scrambled to put distance between the Orog and themselves. Sahir moved to intercept, while Merric did his best to keep Vesis alive with the onslaught from the orc berserkers. Eman called upon her gods fury to burn and slam the foes and soon the two berserkers fell. Og, seeing that the tide had turned, rushed to finish his first act – killing the dwarf paladin. Under the judgment of Torm, he stopped his attacks and rushed across the room. Merric hounded his actions with precise crossbow shots while Vesis moved to intercept. However, Vesis was low on health and energy and once the party trapped Og, he released his fury upon Vesis, felling the mighty fighter. That act of defiance proved to be Og’s last, and he was soon lying dead on the ground. Merric rushed to the paladin’s aid, while the others made sure that Vesis was patched up.
The paladin introduced himself as Kalad, and told them his story. He had been to Bordin’s watch and sealed the tunnels below the watch to stop the army from using that passage into the human lands. He made his way to the monastery, and did the same here, closing the tunnels off forever. There was one set of tunnels left, and that was in the Nexus below the Vents. This was the same place the Farstriders had gone, led by the arrogant Edgar. Kalad and the party were in no shape to move, and decided to spend the night in the lonely monastery to gather their strength before heading out to the Vents. Setting out before the sun had completely risen, the party made their way out of the mountains and across the plains to the Vents. There, they found the horses and campsite belonging to the Farstriders. The horses were nearly starved, having not eaten for days. The heated steam and smell from the Vents filled the air, making it hard to breath and kept any plant life from growing, stopping the horses from feeding themselves. Trazelle took care of the horses while the rest of the group looked for clues regarding where the Farstriders had gone. Sahir’s eagle eyes spotted faint tracks leading into one of the larger vents in the ground and once the horses were dealt with, the party made their way into the tunnels. The tunnels wound in strange patterns and the smell and heat made the trip almost unbearable. The tunnels would suddenly narrow from time to time, making progress slow, and pockets of sulfur made it hard to breathe. But soon enough, the party found the entrance to the Nexus. Just inside, Trazelle could see a group of orcs arguing about their next course of action. It seems that the path that they took getting here was too dangerous and one orc was suggesting they try their luck in the vents when they all spotted Trazelle.
Quickly springing into action, the party engaged the small band, putting them down quickly but not before one of the orc bombers blew himself up and on Sahir as a last defiant act. As they moved deeper into the Nexus, the party could see the hallway the orcs were arguing about. Kalad called it the gauntlet and the orcs has spring the trap. At the far end of the hallway, they could see a crossbow on legs that seemed to move freely with two iron dogs guarding it. On the walls, the magical crossbow trap has been sprung and the crossbows attacked anyone foolish enough to walk in the hallway. Standing at the top of the stairs, the party was relatively safe and Eman and Merric were able to destroy the two closest crossbows on the walls before their attacks proved to be useless against things further down. With no other choice, the party made their way down the gauntlet, destroying the mechanized terrors in the processes. Winded from the battle, the party took a moment to rest in front of the door that lead deeper into the Nexus.