The two zombies are not an issue, they go down effortlessly. It is what we find in the back of Lance Rock, the source of the horrid smell. The scene is all too familiar, it is one both Balasar and myself wished to never lay eyes upon again.
Dozens of butchered orcs lay, hang or are stacked about the cave. The sight make me force down the vomit rising in the throat. An inspection of their bodies reveals some limbs were torn by force, others were cut by a blade.
My blood boils as I think back to the Bringers of Woe compound where we had seen this before. My scarred shoulder begins to ache at the thought, a reminder of the abomination that was constructed there. Novak had the thing hunting my kind in some strange cannibalistic fashion.
Balasar draws me away from my thoughts, pointing out the forge and tools. The bloody saw among them only reaffirms our findings. Beside them sets a cot and table for a smaller person. Atop the old table rests a blood stained journal.
Shuffling through the pages we find out the butcher fancies himself as Doctor Slukx. The entries are frantically written, a clue that either he was in a rush or insane. I imagine it is both due to the notes within.
It mentions his failures lead to this great creation. This new abomination is intelligent despite its hunger for its own kind. Slukx marvels at the thing’s keen ability to think and how it is an asset to the hunt. It has even thought to give itself a name.
Overwhelmed by what we have discovered, I give no thought to check the drawer of the table before opening it. The tiny cut from the razor is nothing to the panic that is starting to swell within me. Another journal is inside, this one is more personal than medical.
Quickly thumbing through the entries I notice The Restless Hand, including sketches resembling my brand from them. Novak is mentioned very little. There are some ramblings about a glacier in the North. But the final pages breathe life into my fears.
Slukx and this Tuskgutter are heading toward Icewall where this glacier rest. Are they hunting me? Do they believe that is where I will be found? Are they hunting the orc tribes in the area?
Pointing out my findings to Balasar, I express my fear that they could be in Red Larch this very minute. My friend quickly calms me, explaining if Tuskgutter was tracking my scent we would have already confronted the abomination. He believes they are heading North without hesitation.
The paladin suggest we do the same.