Setting out early in the morning, the party soon found the orcs’ trail again and followed it across the hilltops to the end of the small range. Approaching the downward slope on the other side, the group spotted a wood at the foot of the hill, nearly ten miles across. Approaching with caution, Seebo went on ahead, transforming himself into a gaseous cloud and trapping himself in a glass vial. The Baron then dropped him into the forest ahead of the group, to scout the terrain and mayhap take anyone lying in wait by surprise, but when the vial broke upon the wood’s floor, no orcs were to be seen around.
Following close behind, the rest of the party came upon a scene of bloodthirsty slaughter; a pack of wolves, roughly a dozen in all, had been killed, their bodies left to rot in the shade of the trees. Whoever had done this seemed to be gone, but there were no signs the perpetrators had used the bodies for anything other than practise with cruel axes and blades.
Meanwhile, Seebo had drifted on ahead, unaware of the carnage he had bypassed on his unorthodox entry to the woods. Shortly coming upon a clearing wherein lay a small silvery pool, he caught sight of what looked like a young woman, beautiful beyond belief. When she raised her head, the last thing Seebo saw was the tears in her wide eyes before the world went dark, and he found himself blinded.
Thankfully, the wind was calm, and Seebo’s misty form drifted no more than a few feet off the ground, and when he changed back to his natural form, the group soon found him stumbling over roots and branches. To alleviate his condition, Seebo employed his wizardly talents to transform himself into a form more used to dealing with life without sight, a bat. Now the party are ready to move on, perhaps prepared for what lies ahead, though perhaps not…
Tired, worn and wounded, the party pressed on into the forest and soon discovered the source of the threat, surprised by its initial malevolance; the woman Seebo had discovered was in fact the fey creature known as
Felicia Day a Nymph. Her forest was under seige from groups of Orc raiders who had come from the nearby mountains, and her loyal pack of wolf defenders had been slaughtered by the last such group. In her grief and rage she hadn’t seen the true nature of the adventurers until Seebo had already been struck blind by her terrible beauty. She offered aid to the group should they help her rid the forest of its invaders, and once Morbo discovered that the culprits were orcs it was soon decided that they would be hunted and exterminated.
With Ragnar’s considerable tracking talents (and his particular expertise with Orcs and their ilk) it wasn’t long before the group came upon the Orcs returning to their camp. After a brief, bloody battle the party stood victorious. With Ragnar and a few others heading to find the camp, Morbo and Seebo returned to the Nymph with the Orc leader’s head as proof of their deeds.
The orc camp was found deserted, bereft of much more than bones and waste and, reassured that the immediate threat had been firmly stamped out, Ragnar and the others moved to catch up with Morbo and Seebo. When the heroes had regrouped, the nymph revealed much of the quest they had undertaken; in the mirror pool of her glade she showed them the path of the orcs they had been hunting the last two days. From the forest, they had gone east to the mountains, where, nestled high in the crags, a clan of the brutish creatures had taken shelter in caves. As thanks for their deeds avenging the fallen protectors of the forest, she healed the party’s wounds and bid them well on their journey, before retiring to the depths of the woods.
In anticipation of a tough fight, and certain of their prey’s location, the group began the march back to Goldreach to prepare for what seemed like a tough assault. Reaching the border of the forest at sundown, they made camp within its now-welcoming reach and settled in for the night.