How a random orc became one of the party’s most powerful allies


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I was running a homebrew campaign sometime back that featured Orcs as some of the most prominent enemies the players could encounter in the wilds. Setting out to claim a bounty, the head of the Orc Warchief Brouga, the players came upon some Orcs raiding a caravan. This was entirely meant to be a random encounter that the players would just breeze through. As expected, the Orcs were cut down with ease, all except one, which the players decided to knock out and interrogate. “Sure,” I thought, “That sounds like a smart thing to do. They don’t know where the Warchief is, so maybe this Orc does.” They tie the Orc up to a chair in a nearby village slammer, and start the interrogation. They ask the Orc for his name, “Kagruk,” I said, just making it up on the spot. The Dwarf bard Helja desides to take an approach to interrogation that I had not expected. She starts playing her drums in a style that is very Orcish and warlike. She tries to appeal to his more brutal and savage nature, to get him to warm up to her. I have her roll a performance check, and she rolls very well. “Kagruk puts on a slight grin and starts huffing to the rythm.” I said. She starts asking him about his motives and goals, and about the Warchief and why he follows him. Through some well placed questions she manages to find out that the Orcs tend to follow the strongest, and that if anyone could defeat Brouga, that they would become the new warchief until another Orc could defeat them. She also finds out that Brouga carries around a weapon called Bone Cleaver that is, as Kagruk puts it, “Da strongest ax.” Then she makes him an offer, “If you can lead us to Brouga, we will help you kill him. Then you’ll be the new warchief, and you can have Bone Cleaver.” I have her roll for Persuation, putting the DC pretty high. Of course, she succeeds. They start traveling together, giving Kagruk a disguise so the common folk won’t be alarmed. Helja and Kagruk are like best of friends, playing drums and drinking way too much together. The party even outfits him with better weapons and armor, feeling confident at this point that he won’t betray them. Eventually they find an encampment of Orcs in the forest, and try to sneak up on them. They get caugh and taken captive, except for Kagruk and the rogue player who were well hidden. The captured players are taken to the middle of the camp where they are brought to their knees before Brouga. After a little monologuing and some back and forth between the players and Brouga, Kagruk and the rogue jump some of the sentries, aided with the help of a giant Imp (long story). Then the fight begins. The players have a tough fight on their hands, Brouga being truly the Biggest and the Strongest. After a lot of back and forth, players getting downed and healed, and Brouga taking a lot of hits, he was looking pretty beaten and bloody. Helja shouts, “Kagruk! Finish him off!” Kagruk swings, lands a hit, and does just enough damage. His ax cuts clean through, Brouga’s head rolling to the floor. The remaining Orcs drop there weapons, some surrender, and some flee. Kagruk picks up Bone Cleaver and raises it to the air. After some looting and catching their breath, they are ready to part ways. Kagruk and Helja clasp hands, “I will lead horde well,” Kagruk says, “You are friend.”


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