After the Umber hulk attack the group went home and spent the evening preparing for the journey to come. Aldonis “the Grey” bought himself a horse with his share of the money given to them by Kharden and the rest soon followed suit. Jurgen Frostbeard had just been granted the Find Steed spell and Sascha Øksdóttir already owned a heavy draft horse.
The following morning, as the glimmers of Rosy fingered dawn appeared on the 20th of Édorum, The Iron Ravens were greeted by Moireach Ulfhræfn and Varric Blackbolt, the two Clan VasaAd scouts that Argylehad promised to send with them.
Without delay the party headed towards and through the East Gate and down the mountain towards Kingfisher Hollow. The road there was quiet and without incident. The Ravens decided to simply continue along the road rather than head into the small village. They passed the Coffee and Bean fields that make a large portion of Cauldron’s exports and noticed that most of the lands here were worked by slaves, guarded by men on foot and horse.
“That’s not Right” Muttered Aldonis, the only one who seemed to have a deep dislike of the system.
An hour further down the road, having passed one of the few freemen cottages in the area, Moireach and Varric guided the party north into a well traveled hunters trail through the trees.
As they travel through the trees, Jurgen notices that Moireach seems to steal glances at him from her place at the back of the column, never meeting his gaze when he turns to look.
Varric holds up a hand and Moireach comes forwards, there is smoke in the air. The pair motion for everyone to wait here as they disappear further into the trees.
It isn’t long after that the group is attacked, a large sized Javelin coming from the trees behind them and catching Aldonis flatfooted. He manages to avoid the brunt of the attack with an Uncanny Dodge. Several Ogres come through and into the cleared path, engaging the Ravens. The fight is fast paced and brutal, the horses scattering as the large brutes move to engage. All but one are cut down by blade and spell and it decides to bolt, heading into the trees in the direction that the two Dwarven scouts had gone only to be met with crossbow bolts. It dies cruelly pin cushioned by bolt and arrow.
As the corpses are searched Varric tells Jurgen that up further ahead, approximately half a kilometer, is a larger clearing with a band of Orcs.
Lucius finds a small leather map on the Ogres, it depicts the area that they are traveling through, with Kingfisher Hollow overshadowed by a skull and the clearing that the Dwarves have scouted out. It seems they may have stumbled upon a raiding party.
Getting their gear and horses together, they follow the two scouts. The trail continues for half a mile before Aldonis and Elrik both notice that the trail is overgrown with thick vines that move counter intuitively with the breeze. As they investigate this odd occurrence a large section of vines and leaves detaches itself from the canopy and falls among them.
The shambling mound quickly engulfs Jurgen but is unable to keep him restrained within as the dwarf tears his way out to freedom. It is assaulted on all sides by magic and might and as the battle rages the Orcs the two scouts had found earlier rush into the fight. The small ones are torn apart by spell and axe while Jurgen engages the brutishly large one in finely crafted studded leather that wields a shield and spear. The leader, another large orc, holds his greatsword with one hand while leveling a wand at Lucius. Magic Missiles burst into the Wizard even as he puts the shambling mound down with a burning bolt. The smell of scorched vegetation fills the air.
The tide turns for the orcs as the party kills off the weaker minions and begin to focus on the two big ones. Full of blood lust the two orcs fight side by side, dealing terrible injuries but also taking them in return as Warhammer and Greataxe smash into them. First the Spear and Shield goes down and finally, spitting curses in Orc, the leader follows.
Searching the bodies they find Masterwork Studded Leather and a Masterwork Greatsword. Searching the Orc camp they find moldy mangy hides and furs and coins of all denominations. They also manage to find the body of an unfortunate human dressed in wandering troubadour clothes, propped against a stump with many arrows in his chest. Beside him is a beautiful Cittern and a pouch with 4 Large Beans.
They then track down where the ogres had been camping and find a small foully polluted pool beside a natural recess in a rocky ridge. Coins are found and a detect magic is cast alerting them to something magical in the pool itself. Jurgen, being immune to disease enters the pool and searches for it. He finds a blue sparkling gem on a Cord. Elrik claims it.
The Ravens decide to head back to the Orc camp to take a long rest.