Missions changed and is soon became apparent to the party that the Paladins were attempting to find more locations like the ruins they had discovered previously.
The day finally came when one of the acolytes that the were sent out to study the ruins went missing. The Captain of the guard, High Commander Thule gather all of the militia and sent them into the wild. Each of them tasked with hunting down and Orc raiding party and determining if the Acolyte was in their ranks.
Within the first three days in the wild, Yew found the trail. A day later their otherwise quite trek was interrupted by the arrival of a very non-pulsed Owl-Bear. Between the quick trap making of Yew and spear work of Temur-Bayar the creature was dispatched.
The next day it became clear that they were not alone when they fought the Owl-Bear, they found the tracks of Orc scouts near the camp. Temur-Bayar and Yew quickly went into pursuit, finding the two scouts only a few hours away while they were resting at a stream. In a matter of moments one of the scouts was dead and the other subdued, bound, and brought back to the rest of the party.
Xander Paarthunax roughly interrogated the prisoner and found that his name was Oruuk the High and that the Orc hated him deeply. He also found that there were Humans in the village and that they were there by their own will and had not been captured by his tribe.
As they went forward they found that the trails became more worn and that there were certain to be within a days march of the tribe. Temur-Bayar and Yew again departed to scout the camp and see if they could determine if the Acolyte was within it.
They didn’t do very well.
That night they heard a noise in the woods, and seconds latter they were beset by four massive Dire Boars. Before they could act one of the horses had been slain and Xander had only seconds to cast Grease before more of their mounts were dispatched. Casting the spell had a price and mere moments after he cast his spell he was violently gored and then trampled, leaving him in a near broken state. With the last of his strength he set the monster ablaze and watched horror struck as it ran rough shod over Dysian before being taken down by Rill. With what limited strength he had Dysian cast a spell to calm the Boars and they soon went on their way. After healing themselves, the party decided that their camp had been comprimised and that they needed to move. They did their best and soon found an out of the way spot to wait for their compatriots.
Back at the Orc village Yew and Temur-Bayar managed to avoid detection and soon Yew was able to enter the village unseen through a weak point in their wooden walls. She made her way to the central fire and found that there were indeed Humans their, but none that met the description of the lost acolyte. She made here way back and soon both her and [:temur-bayar | Temur-Bayar]] were on their way back to the rest of the party.
When they arrived at the old campsite they quickly gleaned the events that unfolded and were equally quick in finding the new location that their teammates had chose; a way point near the main path that was sure to be a common stop for Orc bands.
After a spirited conversation about the results of their scouting, it was decided that the party would return to Badger’s Bluff and tell the Paladins of their findings. On the trek back there was heated and at times violent debates as to what should be done with Oruuk the High. The debate culminated when the Orc swore the death of Xander’s line and the disappearance of Yew. Soon after, tempers cooled and the party mounted up to make the last push for home when they saw the smoke.
Yew and Xander went ahead to find the source, and soon found them selves face to face with a pile of corpses. The bodies of every member of the militia save them selves was piled high and ablaze with some dark magic. They quickly returned to the rest of the party and relayed what they had seen. It was quickly determined that this was not the work of some wild tribe of Orcs and that they no longer needed Oruuk the High and after getting his vow not to hurt Yew and to leave his vengeance for another day he was released.
When the party returned to the scene of the fire, the Paladins were there working on breaking the spell. They were told that High Commander Thule required their presence at once. As they made their way into Badger’s Bluff they saw that it was being torn apart, and that the Paladins were searching through all the bunks and lock-boxes.
Once they entered the dining hall, it became clear that Thule was not their to debrief them, but to take them “As guests to the Empire” to a major Brotherhood base and hold them there for interrogation. He also stated that Xander would be given over to the Inquisition.
As soon as those words left the Commander’s mouth Xander made for the door and in the seconds that followed the party were forced to flee for their lives…