After Phlarr and Lud’s early morning struggle with the two orc scouts, followed by the party’s information light questioning of the survivor, and concern over Lud’s missing wolf companion; the group made the decision to head back east to where the orc caravan first joined the trail to the east.
Near mid-day they had arrived at the desired juncture and still there was no sign of the wolf or of the support that the wolf was sent back for. It was then decided that Lud and Phlarr would scout back down the path they came down looking for anything or anyone that was following them. The pair crept back east slowly, searching their way toward the possibly pursuing orc caravan.
After a couple of hours of travel, and with no enemy in sight, Phlarr and Lud decided to stop heading east and patrol the area that they were currently searching so that hopefully they would still make it back to the party if they spotted anything.
Another couple of hours passed and Phlarr had a bad feeling that they were being shadowed so he and Lud turned and hustled back to the party, trying to prevent getting ambushed.
During the trip back to the party, the suspicious feeling never lessened. As they returned to the area, they called out and the party readied for battle with the pursuers. When they six pursuing orc scouts began closing on their location, the orcs were spread wide in a sweeping pattern. The party moved quickly to engage the northern most scout hoping that with the density of the forest the orc threat could be handled more easily.
The battle began with the two northern most scouts being attacked by Lud and Phlarr. As the other orcs approached the battle split into two main areas with Portick, Biri and Damillia moving to engage the four that were closing, the mages, Xyphus and Erowin providing support to both battles.
Avandra seemed to favor the party, as thanks to luck and the dense woods, the contest quickly became a losing one for the orcs. One wounded scout saw the end was near and began trying to sprint back to the east and his approaching companions. Lud kept pace with the escaping orc and, with the help of Erowin and Xyphus, prevented his escape. That left Biri, Damillia and Portick to dispatch the remaining orcs of the second group. Thanks to the timely ministrations of Damillia, Biri and Portick were able to soundly thrash what remained of the orcs.One of the orc scouts had been taken alive for further questioning. Biri used all of her angry, 6’8”, draconic looks and a little supportive playacting by her companions, to scare the some new information from the thoroughly intimidated scout:
- Five goblins riding dire wolves were following the scouts and may be as little as a quarter hour behind.
- A full war party of approximately 20 orcs, including a fairly powerful orc priest of Gruumsh One-Eye travelling with a wagon an hour or more behind the wolf riders.
- The war party supposedly came from the south and was headed to the orc keep all the while they were collecting heads.
- The missing girl seems to have been taken to the keep and may have been taken to start a war.
- The keep may have up to 60 orcs and retainers
While the questioning was being wrapped up, conversations had, and decisions made over what to do next, Dami used the power of Pelor to help everyone’s wounds heal quickly and completely. Due to the quickness with which the goblin riders might be approaching, the limited probability of successfully disguising their scent and tracks from the dire wolves and their riders, and the in ability of the team to outrun the wolves, the decision was made to move to the most easily defended area and hopefully using a small clearing as a killing ground for the approaching riders.
For a short time luck withdrew her hand as the riders arrived as expected. One of them saw the remnants battle and his mount smelled the blood soaked party. The goblin turned his mount and led one of the other riders to the clearing. The battle ensued and Avandra again placed the hand of fate protectively over the party. Thanks to the tight quarters presented by the very dense forest and the very staggered arrival of the other goblin riders, what would have been a massacre of the party was turned into a barely successful struggle. Again the party subdued one of their opponents for questioning but that will have to wait until later. With the daylight almost at an end, the party badly battered and tired, a new prisoner to question, and the possibility of a 20 orc force slowly bearing down on their position, the party ponders its future.
What questions will the party ask of this captured goblin? What more could it possibly know? How much longer will the gods smile on the party? Is the young girl Lilly really at the orc keep and how long will the heroes leave her in the clutches of the evil orcs?