Welcome back to Arth, adventurer. If it’s been a while since you visited and you need a refresher on what happened in the first book of the Dark Profit Saga, or a handy guide to who's who in Orconomics, you're in the right place!
If you haven't read Orconomics yet, you’re in the wrong place! You can (and should!) pick up a copy here before you move on to Son of a Liche.
This is your last spoiler warning. The whole story of Orconomics is summarized below. Hit the button to see it.
Gorm Ingerson is a Dwarf, a drunk, and an outlaw from the Heroes’ Guild. While robbing a professional heroat axe-point, Gorm inadvertently saves the life of Gleebek, a feral Goblin. Out of desperation, the creature follows Gorm. The Dwarf eventually takes pity on the Goblin and takes him to apply to become a Noncombatant Paper Carrier (or an NPC).
Gorm takes Gleebek to the offices of the Heroes’ Guild in the great city-state of Andarun, which unfortunately leads him into the clutches of Mr. Flinn and Brunt the Ogre. Mr. Flinn explains that Gorm, being an ex-professional hero of some renown, had been selected for recruitment by the High Scribe of the mad goddess Al’Matra. If he refuses, he’ll be hanged for his past offenses against the Guild. With no other option but facing Guild justice, Gorm reluctantly agrees to join the High Scribe’s party of coerced misfits.
Gorm’s initial assessment of his colleagues isn’t encouraging. Worse still, High Scribe Niln personally leads the party, and his social interactions are almost as underdeveloped as his combat skills.
Gorm sees a ray of hope, however, when his old colleague Johan informs him that their quest is actually a ploy to pacify Niln and the Al’Matrans. Gorm and his party are asked to recover the Elven Marbles and settle the dispute between the Elves and Orcs over their rightful ownership. Johan assures Gorm that once the simple fetch quest is complete, Gorm’s obligation to the Al’Matrans will be effectively over and his record with the Guild wiped clean.
Thus reassured, Gorm leads his party to an Elven Embassy, an underworld bar, the lair of a Lizardman cult, and then into the dark swamp of the Myrewood. There, the heroes uncover the scene of a bloody fight, as well as some signs indicating that the Orcs may have the Marbles. Shortly after leaving the swamp, Gorm discovers that the party was being trailed by Thane, an unusually benign Troll that has become smitten with Kaitha. Reluctantly, Gorm agrees to keep Thane’s presence secret in exchange for the Troll’s services as a hidden threat deterrent.
Gorm and his party journey to Bloodroot, a town populated by NPC Orcs. Their Chieftain, Zurthraka Guz’Varda, has eschewed the traditional Orcish industries of looting and pillaging in favor of more peaceful pursuits, like manufacturing and product design. With Zurthraka’s help, Gorm locates an Orc with clues about the whereabouts of the Elven Marbles, and discovers that they have likely been taken to the Ashen Tower, where the hero Johan legendarily slew a dark wizard.
At the Tower, the heroes discover that their wizard, Jynn, is actually the disgraced son of the dark wizard. In an even more unpleasant revelation, Jynn’s estranged father returns, now as a liche. The undead wizard and the heroes fight, but Gorm’s party prevails with Thane’s help.
Gleebek, however, is wounded in the fight. The heroes return to Bloodroot to treat Gleebek, and while there Niln confides in Gorm that the Dwarf is the true leader of the party. Gorm decides that the Orcs should have the Elven Marbles, setting off a tremendous celebration among the Orcs. When Gorm and his party depart to turn in the paperwork at a nearby branch of Heroes’ Guild, they reluctantly leave Gleebek behind to make a new home in Bloodroot. Niln also leaves the party, finally recognizing that he wasn’t meant to be a hero.
Gorm soon realizes he had made a terrible mistake. The Heroes Guild and Johan have conspired with King Handor to frame the Orcs for stealing the Elven Marbles. The party rushes back to Bloodroot, but not in time to stop professional heroes from completing their grim work. Gorm discovers the bodies of Zurthraka and Gleebek among the ruined town. By the time Mr. Flinn arrives to polish the heroes off, Gorm has lost all hope.
Flinn explains that while he originally planned for Gorm’s party to die in the Myrewood, he chose heroes likely to be sympathetic to Orcs and Goblins for the party as a contingency. Gorm played into the conspirators’ hands when he gave the Elven Marbles to Zurthraka: once the Orcs had the Marbles, the Guild voided their NPC papers and declared a quest to slay the tribe. Flinn has already caught and killed Niln, and now only needs to finish Gorm off as well.
Just before Flinn strikes, Gorm sees signs that much of the Guz’Varda tribe has managed to escape. The realization that the Orcs still need his help reignites Gorm’s passion and berzerker’s power, giving him the strength to defeat Brunt and send Flinn fleeing. Now an outlaw once more, Gorm vows to fight the Guild rather than running from it. He and his party memorialize Niln and Gleebek before heading into the wilderness to find the lost Orcs.
There are spoilers in this character guide as well. Read it at your own risk.