After the party recovered from the battle with the goblins and dire wolves, they began the questioning of the captured goblin warrior. Lud and Portick were at odds on what was the best way to get information from the prisoner. Lud’s methods were not getting the information that the group required, so the Portick stepped in and bargained with the prisoner for some information. He promised the goblin his freedom for information that helped them find the missing girl. The goblin told Portick about an orc city further east down the path. With that information, Phlarr and the others began searching for the path that the goblin mentioned while Portick continued to question the goblin. The searchers found a small and hidden game trail that led the way the goblin directed them and the party headed off after the girl with the bound goblin in tow.
Near the end of the second day of following the trail, the group came upon a ford across a creek where the bound and gagged goblin became panicked and struggled against his tether to Lud’s wolf . The party stopped and began looking for signs of other goblins or orcs. Phlarr crossed the creek as quietly and discreetly as possible while Lud shimmied up a tree looking for a bird’s eye view and the others closed in to the ford area in case danger reared its head.
On the other side of the creek, Phlarr noticed a large rock that someone had been recently crouched behind at the same time that Lud noticed something running off through the woods in the same area. Lud quickly raised the alarm and Phlarr began the pursuit while the rest of the party began their crossing of the creek to support their companion.
The pursuit of the unknown creature led Phlarr into the midst of a dangerous situation, a group of orcs regrouping after a deadly battle with some of the area’s Rangers and knights. Phlarr skirted the area getting a feel for the area and allowing time for his friends to begin to catch up. As the group closed in the combat began. Three longbow wielding scouts, three seedy warriors, two hulking berserkers, and a foul mouthed witch doctor priest of Gruumsh and our intrepid heroes began the struggle. Biri led with her acid breath and the witch doctor responded with a blinding acid curse on Phlarr that plashed on to his nearby fellows.
The tide of battle surged back and forth. A scout and the warrior fell quickly on the side of the orcs while the orcs seemed to focus their attacks at the imposing dragonborn woman in their midst. Biri fell, only to be quickly restored by the attentive priestess Damillia. The wizards, Xyphus and Erowin, unleashed their most potent area spells into the tight cluster formed by the enemy.
With the fall of the witch doctor, one of the orc scouts sprinted from the edge of the fight, apparently attempting to get help for the remaining orcs. Phlarr and the wizards pursued and captured the escaping orc, while Portick led Lud and Damillia in killing the remaining orc scout and berserker at the main combat site.
After the combat was over, the arrogant witch doctor and fearless scout were threatened, questioned, and slain. Phlarr also killed the goblin that the wolf had drug along and that Portick had promised eventual freedom to. Lud’s wolf was sent to the town with a note explaining what had been learned, requesting help, and communicating location of the dead rangers and knights.
During the questioning, It came to light that a tattoo that Biri had seen on the giants that slew her clan was also on the chest of the witch doctor. After pooling their information, the team felt sure that the orc city the goblin mentioned referred to the keep that was mentioned by the orc prisoners; the flame hand tattoo seems to refer to a cross species organization known as the Order of the Flame; the missing girl seems to be on her way to or already at the keep.
The party returned to the pursuit of the suspected kidnappers following the trail. The trail began to widen and the efforts to hide the passing of the orcs ceased. The group they were following were met by a wagon and some other creatures from the south and the combined group of approximately 30 orcs continued north east toward the expected location of the keep of the orcs.
The party decided to move faster and try to overtake the mob before they arrive at the keep. During a night time scouting expedition Lud and Phlarr found the camp and counted the visible orcs. They agreed that they saw at least five goblins and their dire wolf mounts, four scouts, ten warrior types, a dirty four man tent with a faint light, and a medium sized, simply decorated, gypsy style wagon and its unknown contents.
The next morning Lud and Phlarr returned to scout the orc camp so that the party will know how far back to safely follow the orcs, when they are noticed and attacked by a pair of orc scouts searching behind the camp before the orcs move for the day.
Lud and Phlarr barely survive yet still manage to capture one of the scouts. Again the party interrogate the orc but learn little they did not know other than there is another priest of Gruumsh in the band of orcs ahead and that the girl may already be at the keep.
With the large group of orcs one to two days away from their own keep, reinforcements possibly a week behind the party, and the missing girl already at the keep; What will the heroes do next?