PREVIOUSLY: The heroes begin their journey down the Tourondel River on their way to Tamran. Along the way the heroes discover that orcs have moved into the Fangwood forest, and later their discoveries became more real when they realised that the outpost they were due to collect supplies from had been attacked by those same orcs. Things become more strange when the heroes learn that the orcs are being commanded by a young Mage who had only visited the outpost hours earlier…
Having healed from the wounds inflicted by the orcs, Zevan and Kal make their intents clear in that wish to move into the forest to hunt the orcs back to their camp before night falls. The rest of the group agree, whilst Captain Walren decided to remain at the farm to protect Morrie and his daughter.
Zevan leads the group into the forest, following the still quite visible orc tracks. Zevan notices that the orcs are using an established path which is unusual for them as they would normally move through the undergrowth to hide their numbers and their approach. After a hour, as the last of the light disappears through the trees, the heroes come across an encampment nearby to the ruins of an old cabin in the woods.
Zevan and Evarl both notice a number of orcs hidden in the ruins, and Evarl attempts to climb the tree to get a better look. Although she managed to keep herself hidden, a sudden noise from Evarl trying to climb the tree, alerted the orcs to something in the forest. Suddenly, a large orc steps out of the tent, and three orcs step out using the ruins and undergrowth as cover.
Evarl, Nell and Zevan open the attack with missile fire, both by arrows and Nell‘s newly found wand of magic missiles. The chieftain, Zulgha Bloodbone, quickly retreats into the tent. With that, Kal sees an opportunity, as several more orcs spring up within the confines of the ruins. Kal then yells out, in Orc tongue, that the Orc Leader had fled the battlefield like a coward and that he would soon be felled in great combat. Sam took queue of Kal’s words, at least to his level of understanding, and ran down the path in order to reach the orc chieftain’s tent. Whilst still attempting to climb a tree, Evarl heard a high pitched voice yell the words, “No!”, coming from the direction of the tent. A moment later, the orc leader appeared and bellowed his war horn. More orcs appeared, with Evarl and Zevan counting at least 8 in total.
Meanwhile, Evarl managed to make her way into the tree, and whilst assisting Nell and Zevan by keeping a watchful eye for further orcs appearing from the ruins, she spotted someone else inside the tent. Could this be the mage Jessika and Morrie were talking about?
Nell and Zevan continued keeping any orcs advancing through the forest at bay, while Sam continued his advance towards the tent. Eventually, the young warrior arrived, and sized up to the huge orc chieftain. The orc chieftain raises his menacing great-axe and bellowed at Sam and to his orc horde, in an attempt to intimidate the young warrior, and rally his troops who by this stage were somewhat confused, as Kal continued to embellish the exploits of what he hopes Sam would do. Unfortunately, after a few blows, it quickly became clear to Kal, that Sam may have met his match.
Kal cast a divine spell to shield his friend from injury, transferring any blows against Sam to Kal instead. It did not take long for this to become a reality, with 2 further blows landing solidly against Sam‘s body, both of which caused not even a scratch on the young warrior. However as the spell was meant to work, wounds suddenly opened on Kal’s hardened skin, almost bringing the young Cleric to his knees. Kal realised that he was meant for this task as his Orc blood kept him awake throughout the ordeal.
Nell, continued firing her wand against those orcs who were yet to believe Kal‘s words, and Zevan continued firing arrows in support. Evarl, now in the treetops, made her way across to the clearing where the orc was fighting with Sam. Evarl let off a couple of arrows to assist the young warrior. Seeing that it would take more than a few to fell the mighty orc, Evarl thought it best to try a different approach, and ran behind the tent, to get a better look inside.
As Evarl moved under the lip of the tent, she was surprised to see a young man dressed in traveling robes, and glasses seated on a small makeshift chair. The young man was as surprised as Evarl, and said, “Help me!”. Evarl, not trusting the man, after all, she had built a distrust of mages over the years since witnessing her parent’s death at the hands of Iramine. No wanting to kill the man, nor allow him to be casting spells, she quickly tackled the man to the ground. The man let out a squeal, and attempted to cast a spell at Evarl, but without success. Evarlquickly pinned him to the ground. There was to be no further attempts to cast a spell this time.
Meanwhile, outside, with several solid hits, Sam eventually brought the orc chieftain to the ground, with the final blow removing the orc’s head from its shoulders. With their chieftain dead, and many of their numbers lost, the remaining few orcs fled into the forest.
Evarl in the meantime brought the mage out from the tent to be interrogated by the group. The man, clearly a bit distraught, saw the dead orc chieftain, and thanked the heroes for their efforts. He introduced himself as Aroth Mentinjek, a mage who was travelling from Tamran to a small town called Kassen where he hoped to meet with a wizard. He explained the story that he was travelling along the river and came across Morrie’s Farm. He further explained that he was greeted by their hospitality and met Morrie and his daughter. He and Jessika immediately became friends, and he felt they could be more romantically between them. So after dinner, he made his move. Unfortunately, when she rejected him, he took off, ashamed and embarrassed, and ran into the forest. By the time, he realised what he had done, he was well and truly lost. Whilst searching for a way back, he was set upon by the orcs and their leader. He only did what he thought was his best chance of survival, and attempted to charm the orc chieftain. He did not realise however that his actions would cause the orc leader to treat him as his best friend. The young man spoke no orc-tongue and he believes that whilst trying to convince the orcs to let him escape, he somehow gave them the impression that they should attack the farm and bring Jessika to him. By the time, he realised what was going on, 5 of the orcs had headed off down towards the east, and the orc chieftain brought him to his tent.
Aroth apologised for his actions, and asked for the heroes to take him back to the farm so that he may apologise to them as well.
The heroes then made their way back to the farm, and allowed Aroth to speak with Morrie and his daughter. Aroth was shocked with what had occurred, and offered to help in any way he could. After a long discussion into the night, the heroes, Aroth, Captain Walren, Jessika and Morrie got some sleep. At dawn, Zevan spoke with the rest of the heroes, and let them know that he would escort the young mage to Kassen, and that if he was able, would catch up with them later. With that, Evarl, Kal, Nell and Sam departed Morrie’s Farm with Captain Walren and his crew to continue their journey along the Tourondel River to their final destination of Tamran…