After spending the night in the fort, the party headed back to Turtleback Ferry to get paid for taking care of the trolls and refill on healing supplies. They ended up trading the priest the phylactery they'd stolen from the ettin in return for all his remaining potions -- Ash wanted to trade it for having the priest come with them to dish out heals in person, but they weren't confident in his ability to stay alive or in their ability to keep him alive.
The goat herder was also not confident enough in Ash's ability to keep his goats alive to give her another goat. They were forced to proceed onwards goatless.
After that, it was a long slog to the spot in the mountains where they thought the ogre cave was. They spent the night at the fort again, then headed out into the woods. On the way, they were attacked by a bunch of giant scorpions that were poisonous and scary but not really very *strong*. Their main advantage was attacking from all directions at once, letting them get some hits in on the weaker party members since there was no way to make a back line for them to hide in -- even Noggin's valet got pinched.
Near that spot, though, they found Shalalu -- she'd managed to take out the charmed ogre before he reached his tribe, but had gotten pretty beaten up in the process and was resting until she was healed before heading back to the fort. Phoof helped her heal faster, and she came with them to kill all the ogres. Killing all the ogres wasn't actually their mission, but they weren't about to shed any tears for the disgusting man-eating-and-torturing raiding thieving necromantic brutes.
With Shalalu's help, they found a trail up the mountainside that led to the ogre cave. The plan was to ambush them all and kill them before they could call for help -- Altei scouted them out and didn't see any horns or bells or whatever, but ogres shouting might be enough...
Unfortunately, the ogres on guard were much much tougher than the rank-and-file ogres they'd fought at the fort, and none of them went down in the initial attack, not even the one Phoof paralyzed for Ash to coup-de-gras with a shocking-grasp-augmented stab. Elsie was beaten up pretty badly by the ogre she'd tried to kill and the ogre Shalalu had shot with a bunch of arrows (although with Altei and Shalalu's help she managed to defeat both of them), and Kaito was nearly split in half by a critical hit from the ogre he'd run up to (but he was a lot tougher than the late ranger who'd taken a similar hit at the fort, and between DR and temp hp the 71 point hit only took him down to about half).
They didn't sound the alarm, though, and there was apparently no one close enough to the entrance to hear the fighting and come reinforce.
Noggin, meanwhile, had been scouting around, and found the body of a recently dead ranger at the bottom of a 200-foot deep pit. So they snuck over, and Altei walked down the wall with his ninja powers and tied a rope to the body so that they could bring it back up. It was, in fact, the body they were looking for! Maybe they wouldn't need to kill all the ogres after all?
...nope. The magically inclined party members examined the strange black smoky aura the body was giving off, and determined that his soul had been stolen, possibly raised as an undead of some sort, and no form of resurrection would work until it was put to rest or otherwise recovered.
So, genocide it was.
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