Having escaped the destruction of the Fourteen Kingdoms, the players, along with Gendii, Icarus and Jeaude, arrive back on the continent of Anduris Prime, in the small nation state of Perspicuus Silicis, or Bright Rock. Gildur pointed them in the direction of the closest village, and before leaving to return to the fight against the Aeons, asked that should they find anyone willing and able to aid in his struggle, to do what they could to make sure that aid reached him.
Setting out in the direction they were given, the players soon came upon the small farming settlement of Goldreach, so named for the golden fields that surround it on the plains. There they discovered that recently, numbers of Orcs had been seen in the surrounding countryside, and a small band of them had attacked the village, resulting in the death of a village woman, before a dwarf called Thorid slew two of their number and chased the others off the farms.
Morbo, upon hearing of these orcish attacks, volunteered the group’s services to eradicate this threat by hunting down the orcs responsible for the attack, and the players soon afterwards set out to track down the fleeing orcs. Meanwhile, Gendii, Icarus and Jeaude stayed behind to guard the village from further attacks, Gendii eager to find out more about the area they had arrived in.
After a few hours following the obvious tracks of the fleeing orcs, the group came upon a small copse of trees at the foot of a small hill. Proceeding in, a small band of orcs attempted, unsuccessfully, to ambush the party. After a short, bloody battle, the players emerged victorious, having sustained only light wounds…
...after stripping the orcs of valuables, the group were surprised to find that the two orcs who had survived the raid on Goldreach were not amongst the dead; their tracks circled the nearby camp and went on along the foot of a small range of hills to the south-east. Following this trail further, the group eventually came to a small stream, where the orcs had turned and headed up into the hills.
The stream soon led to a small gully, where the water had pooled into a peaceful, if muddy, mirror. The orcs’ pitiful attempts to cover their tracks in this pool were thwarted easily, but as the party prepared to head on up the hill to follow the tracks, they were ambushed! A pair of displacer beasts lived near to the pool, and had spied the orcs’ approach, moving silently to assault them at the pool, but when the orcs had failed to stop to drink, the beasts found themselves without any prey, until a short while later they heard the approach of the party. Lying in wait above the crest of the hill at the top of the gully, they pounced just as the party made to leave.
The displacer beasts proved to be hardier opponents than those previously faced by the players; indeed, even Morbo had some difficulty landing a solid blow through their illusiary defence, and the beasts inflicted much pain upon the surprised players. Were it not for the illusiary prowess of Seebo himself, distracting one of the beasts long enough for Morbo, Talin and Hannu to finish the beast off. Meanwhile, Ragnar and his faithful companion put the hurt on the second beast, and even as it regained its senses on the death of its partner, it found itself having its legs dragged from under it by a snarling wolf, while the twin blades of the ranger waited, poised for the killing blow. With the first beast dead, and the second surrounded and disabled, the fight was over quickly, though the beast fought fiercely to its last breath, proving hard to kill.
The beasts dispatched, the party found their den nearby, in a rocky alcove, and within discovered a triad of the beasts’ young. Ragnar, experienced with creatures of the wild, managed to calm one of the kittens and bundled it safely at the top of his backpack, though the slight aura of evil surrounding the kittens disquieted Talin a little. Nontheless, he trusted in his fellow’s skill and morals, believing Ragnar would bring the cub up to be a creature for good, or at least to be aware of the balance of nature, and refrained from comment on this aura.
The party, now wounded and tired from their chase, decided to settle in for the night, using the den as shelter. Displacer Beast turned out to be barely palatable, but decent enough to replace their rations for the day, and the early stop meant that the party all got a full night’s rest between watches.