With their work in Devlan coming to an end and the two delegations going their separate ways, the party to decide to leave. Rinjiminee Haltergirdle, Willis and Morgrimm “Grim” Hammerbrow are preparing to leave when they are approached by another Varanganni. He introduces himself as Cedrick and asks to accompany them on their adventures. The village has grown to small for him and recent events have given him a desire for exploration and danger.
Before they depart, Baron Reaver gifts each of them with a horse – except Rinjiminee, who already has his own pony. He informs Willis that his horse is called Hope. Grim has a horse called Rebel, while Cedric takes one called Buzz. Saying their final farewells, the party heads west. They intend to look into this matter of the hidden gem found by Widow Opal’s late husband. It’s somewhere in the mountains to the south-west is all they know.
Not far out of the village, they come across a man sitting on a log having a smoke. As the group nears, they recognise the smell of herbs that have a hullocogenic effect on the smoker. He introduces himself as Ned Windle and casually asks them where they are going. Learning they are going west and south-west, he warns them about their being lots of Orcs in the area. He seems completely unaware of what has transpired in Devlan recently. A large bundle of pelts lie next to his feet, evidence that he has been hunting for a while. He asks what settlement he’s near and on receiving his answer he sighs and says he’d better get back to his wife and daughter.
Leaving the strange man behind, the group ride on. Nearing the place where they found Earl Bels Reinhart’s body, they come across lots of tracks crossing the track. Orc tracks, and they are heading south-west into the forest. Making a brave decision, the group leave the track and follow the tracks. As the day draws to a close, the group spot a smaller band of Orcs left the main group and headed west again, paralleling the road out of the Blane. The small band has ten to fifteen members in it.
That night nearing dawn, the group is ambushed by Goblins. Despite having the advantage in the dark, the Goblins are all killed. Being awake as they are, the group make an early start and continue folowing the Orc tracks heading nearer to the mountains.
As the hills grow steeper and cliffs start to loom, the sounds of fighting draw their attention. Creeping forward, they see ten Orcs battling against three wolves. The party rush in to attack the Orcs. When they are all killed, the group have an unsteady face off against the wolves before the animals finally turn and run into the forested hills.
The Orc trail they have been following suddenly ends against a cliff face. Cedric volunteers to climb the cliff to see what he can see. While he’s doing that Rinjiminee is busy examining the rocks. Cedric reports from the top of the cliff that there are no trails up there. Meanwhile, Rinjiminee spots a carved piece of rock, as he touches it, it comes away in his hand. There is a grinding of rocks as the cliff face shudders and a crack appears. A section of the rock swings outwards revealing a hidden tunnel beyond.
The main tunnel runs a few hundred metres but leading off each side are several branches. The party begin to explore the area. It seems to be some kind of dwelling area for a society of people but everything is made for someone twice as tall as Willis. There is a workshop, a medical room, a smithy, a few meeting halls, kitchens and a mess hall. Nothing of value is found.
Grim does notice something unusual though. Around the entrance to each tunnel branch, there are very faintly carved symbols. Each time they enter or leave a branch, the symbols glow a very faint pale blue and then wink out.
Leaving the tunnel on the other side, the group find themselves staring out into the Blasted Lands. Far ahead they can make out the band of forty to fifty Orcs they had been following. Surprise and confusion comes to them as they realise they have passed through miles of mountains in such a short distance. Wary of getting into a fight with the large band of Orcs, the group make a decision to return through the tunnels and follow the tracks of the smaller band heading west.