Finding themselves hustled out of the Inn they were staying at in Fewham by the landlord: Proper John (Vogir and Rudha-an had apparently already left.), Orestes, Dokan and Indigo made their way to Lord Rician’s manor house and demanded entry.
The visibly present town guards shadowed them but didn’t approach.
A small Gnomess: Zavia also joined the party as she was being hustled out of town as well. In fact all the adventures and mercenaries recently invited into Fewham to help save the Lady Sybille from the Black cloaks, were being ‘asked’ to move on.
After the aged servant’s initial refusal, Dokan and Indigo were begrudgingly allowed in to ‘discuss’ their complaints.
Lord Rician was rude and dismissive and, after asking the two adventurers to leave, called his guards. Despite Indigo’s pleas for calm, Dokan drew his sword and attacked Lord Rician. Although no match for Dokan, Lord Rician was able to defend himself for the few moments it took for two of his guards to arrive.
Indigo then decided to nip matters in the bud and, in a blinding whirl of action, killed both the guards and the aged clerk.
Indigo’s brutal flurry had the desired effect though, and Lord Rician immediately surrendered. He paid Dokan double what he’d originally offered the party to save his ‘daughter’.
Leaving the next day, in their own sweet time, the gnomess Zavia decided to join them, although they hadn’t the faintest idea what to do or where to go.
During the journey to the next major crossroads, Dokan spied a raven apparently following them.
He shot it with his crossbow and, confirming his suspicions, it disappeared in a puff of black smoke.
Making camp at nightfall, Zavia noticed smoke in the distance. Climbing up a tree, she realized that it was another camp nearby.
The stealthy monk: Indigo went to investigate while the other three of them prepared to defend their camp. Zavia proved herself adept with useful illusions.
Indigo noticed a group of orcs creep past him but carried on to their camp. Once there he discovered two young orcs on guard. He stepped out, unarmed and offering peace but, unprovoked, the two orcs still attacked. It was only due to his generosity that they lived beyond that moment.
The other group of orcs moved through the trees to the Party’s camp. There, after a short, shouted conversation, they discovered Orestes was one of them. An orc.
After a brief negotiation, the orcs offered to share some of their food in exchange for the mutual defence of a shared camp.
In the morning, the leader of the young orcs took out a piece of parchment, tore it and passed half of it to Orestes. Magically both halves repaired themselves and Orestes was able to read the entire message. It was in Orcish but the phrasing was odd, wrong. It was far too slick. Too savvy.
Despite being asked not to, Orestes showed it to his teammates…
CALLING ALL ORCS!
Are you sick of living in fear?
Fear of the Dragon?
Fear of the armies of Man?
The time is upon us brother.
The time to reunite the sundered tribes.
The time to reforge the great hordes of our forefathers.
Come find us in the heart of Fasel wood.
Help us reclaim what is ours.
In the name of Gruumsh, help reclaim what should be yours!
Do not share this information with men, elves or dwarves.
Do not confide with any that would see us oppressed.
The band of youthful orcs left in the direction of a nearby wood and the party continued on to the crossroads.
On the way Dokan noticed the raven again. ‘Was it the same one’ he wondered and he shot it with a crossbow bolt, just to be sure.
Again it disappeared in a puff of black smoke.
Arriving at the crossroads about a day later, they found a large wooden signpost. Its arms pointing in five different directions.
1) Fewham: Back the way they came.
2) Winterhaven: Back towards where a lot of them had originally started.
3) Stonefang: The land of the dwarves.
4) Gon Dulat: The largest city within weeks of traveling and….
5) Khajag: Apparently a recent but wealthy settlement.
It's here the raven reappeared in the treetops and it swooped down to perch atop the crossroads sign.
Although raising his crossbow again, Dokan didn’t fire and the nervous looking raven finally spoke…
‘Ad-veenturoors! Youu Arr all CAW-dialy enviited to tha proviince of Khajag to aiid tha Blue prince with a triiviial but preesing mat-ter. Thaare’s gold to be made. Aaaaand plenttee of it!’
With two possibilities and unsure what to do, the Party made camp.