The morning after the Orcs attacked, Rinjiminee Haltergirdle and Lorana seek out Baron Reaver to see if there is anything they can do to help. Baron tells them that many villagers are still missing, having fled into the forest. It would be most helpful if they can search the area and lead any villagers home. And kill any Orcs they find of course.
With that, the two adventurers head out of Devlan and into the forest to the north-west of the village. Lorana finds some tracks and they follow them until they come to a small clearing. Looking around, they conclude that a fight took place here, possibly with a few casualties but there is no sign of any corpses. Picking one trail of blood, the two head off once more.
It’s not long before they come across a figure lying on the ground ahead. Approaching with caution, they find it is Thoram Malt. The farmer is badly wounded and fading in and out of consciousness. They see his long bow nearby and also a sword. Curiously, the sword carries the mark of a master swordsman. A bit strange for a farmer.
Rinjiminee examines Thoram’s wounds but they are beyond his skill to help with. Seeing nothing to make a stretcher with, the two adventurers decide to carry Thoram back to the village. Rinjiminee grabs the feet while Lorana takes Thoram’s shoulders. RInjiminee can’t help but remark upon the smell of Thoram’s feet. It leads to a whole discussion about the feet of different races.
While travelling back to the village, Thoram mutters in his half-conscious state. He seems to be reliving some memory. It confuses Rinjiminee and Lorana as neither have heard of the places he mentions.
- “The Isle of Newts. Why? So much death.”
- “Bedokweiss. He came out of the mountains. Trapped us at the Isle.”
- “Ballan’s Devilers. We called them that afterwards. Foolish.”
- “Darla! My sweet wife. Forgive me.”
- “I raised him well Darla. Our son. You’d be proud of him.”
- “The towns of Saylem, plundered and razed to the ground. Women raped. Prisoners killed. The insanity of it all.”
- “All for a Skull. So much violence. Horrifying yet beautiful.”
- “A foundling in all the carnage. His mother dead and him a crying babe. We kept him safe.”
- “If not for that bard, we would have died too.”
Arriving back in the village, the adventurers leave Thoram in the care of the healer, Veyinamarath before heading back out into the forest taking a more westerly route this time.
Finding the trail of a largish Orc party, the adventurers follow. They are lead to a farmstead where a number of Orcs are camped for the day. A quick scout around reveals four Orcs on watch, all of them fast asleep. Approaching with care, the two plan to slay the sleeping Orcs. However, as they reach the fence surrounding the farmstead, Lorana stops. She sees a figure in one of the darkened windows. It is dressed all in black, a cowl pulled forward hiding its face. It makes her uneasy. When she looks back again, it’s gone. She points it out to Rinjiminee, who doesn’t see anything but remembers Willis seeing something similar a few days ago.
Believing the alarm might be raised at any moment, they decide to retreat back to the forest. Halfway across the clearning however, a Bugee breaks cover and rushes straight at them. They barely fight it off and escape into the woods to return to Devlan to report their findings.
Upon returning, the group are ushered into a council meeting. The surviving council members are in session along with Reminamorenatheral and Lieutenant Messon – now in charge of the human delegation. Rinjiminee gives a good account of everything that has happened since he arrived in the area. The adventurers are about to be dismissed by one councillor but Baron asks that they stay and give their opinions.
The two make a strong case for fortifying the village, building a wooden fence like that enclosing the enclave would offer good protection. They also point out that they should employ some of the younger men as guards or lookouts to be positioned along the fence at regular intervals. A warning bell is also suggested, if rung in certain ways it would be instructions to the villagers. While on his soapbox, Rinjiminee can’t resist making a strong case for greater integration with the Wee Folk and how they should have a representative on the village council.
Turning on Reminamorenatheral, the pair try to get some information out of her as to what she knows about cloaked figures that seem to disappear. She reluctantly admits that they are associated with Orcs but this is the first time she’s heard of any in this area. Messon, refuses to take part in any further negotiations and says he will return to his homeland to report. What happens from here on is anyone’s guess.