With Baldin now safely with them, Merle, Lamaia, and Era were left to figure out what to do next. Korrog seemed to be the linchpin in the city. Baldin told them that the other orcs feared Korrog. His might is what conquered several tribes, and fear is how he has kept them under his banner. If he were to be removed, the various orc tribes he banded together would no longer have a unifying force keeping them in line. The answer then became clear. They would have to kill the warchief known as The Red Death.
Simply slaying him would do little though. His lieutenants would take his place and issue out orders as if he were still alive. They would need to challenge the warchief, in front of his own brood. Challenge him and win.
Baldin, whose holy symbol he carved into his own willing flesh, offered his apologies. The orcs were sure to mar the symbol upon his capture, and without it, he had no means of channeling Moradin’s divine power. He did, however, have a plan to aid them during their battle with Korrog.. At once, he ventured off to make preparations.
The three companions once again disguised themselves as the slain witch doctor, and headed back to the dwarven keep in the heart of the city. Once there, they found Korrog standing in the doorway to the keep.
“My soldiers found the shaman’s body this morning.” said the warchief, “So, who are you?”
Their ruse discovered, the three companions threw off their disguise, and Merle issued forth a challenge. The orcs erupted in raucous laughter. Korrog strode down the stairs, sneering.
“I accept your challenge!”
With a massive sword in hand, he walked across the span that bridged the gap between the keep and the city. The companions readied themselves. Era drew her blade, which felt more energized in her hand. Lamaia drew the black longsword she had found on the witch doctor, but somehow it had transformed into a thin rapier, which now thrummed with new found power. Merle raised his fists.
Lamaia tapped into her fiendish power again, and plunged Korrog into a globe of inky darkness. The massive orc laughed and charged forth, the darkness moving with him. In an instant, the three were overcome with the same impenetrable shadow. Slash after furious slash found their marks on the companions, his draconic senses unhindered by the blacknes that surrounded him. Lemaia revoked her dark gift, and light returned, but so too did the imposing figure of Korrog.
Merle unleashed blow after punishing blow into the warchief, but the mighty orc returned the punishment in kind. Lamaia struck forth with her blackened blade, but Korrog nearly ended her with a single blow. Era charged forward, Brightfang in hand, and struck Korrog. The wound bit harder than Era could have realized, and the wound began to burn, forcing the warchief to cry out. Brightfang, a sword forged from a shard of the legendary Dragonslayer, had awakened at the taste of draconic blood. Korrog, wide-eyed, stalked towards his new target.
Merle leaped in the way, only to be dealt a vicious blow. Era raised her shield, but she could not fend off the warchief’s powerful attacks. The orc’s gigantic blade found purchase. The air genasi cried out for her companions to get off the bridge. When they were clear, she retrived her flute and blew a single not that clapped like thunder. A shock wave erupted from her, throwing the warchief off the edge of the bridge, into the bottomless void below.
Korrog, the Red Death, was dead.
Astonished orcs looked on in disbelief, completely unaware that Baldin sat behind them from high up on the shoulder of an earth elemental. Some twenty other elementals then made their presence felt. Ocs were crushed and swept aside like playthings. Those that weren’t fled outside, or into deeper parts of the mountain.
The companions were victorious. The city had been retaken. The fiend that had marched his troops on keen was dead, and the three friends were to become legends in their own time.