We last left our adventurers shipwrecked half a day in central Stormguard. They have battled twice the local orcs and currently have an orcish prisoner. The party is:
- Hilbrent Firebrand: Human Magic-user, Level 1 (Fire Spellbook)
- Talia Stromborne: Human Cleric of Vardor, Level 1 (Healing Spellbook)
- Benquil Barrison Del’Armgo: Half-Drow Thief, Level 1
- Algaeir Ashbow: Human Druid, Level 1 (Tracking and Archery)
- Lamila Umdril: Half-Orc, Half-Elf Fighter, Level 1
Following the battle, the sailors, who have been up all night, are exhuasted. So is Benquil, having taken significant wounds in the skirmish. Upon hearing from the orc prisoner that they are the edge of his tribe’s territory, Captain Retinue suggests that they release him and take a longer rest so his men can sleep. Benquil also sleeps, recovering from the exhaustion of pain.
While on guard, Hilbrent takes a walk in the woods. He sees a large figure in the woods far off and hails it. She responds explaining that she has lost her memory and is seeking her people. She has just left the Dark Mind tribe headed into the South, but Hilbrent convinces Lamila to join them in the journey Northward, hoping that her visits to the Northern orc tribes will help them find their way North without further conflict.
With everyone somewhat better rested, the group set out again, knowing they are on the border of two orc tribes and most likely safe. Eventually, however, Algaeir in front spots an orcish hunting party and returns to inform the others. Benquil suggests that he and Lamila approach the orcs and talk with them. They attempt to recruit the hunters as escorts through the territory and at the cost of all of the knuckle bones Benquil has collected from fallen orcs, the successfully hire the hunt leader’s son as a guide.
The young orc joins Algaeir ahead of the large band, helping them to avoid suspicion from other hunters as they go. Eventually, however, they see a military unit of orcs ahead and the boy is unable to turn away their attention. The commander demands to see his father. Algaeir, watching from far away runs back and warns the group and Lamila and Benquil go out to help the boy. The negotiations do not go their way and the entire group (sailors and all) excepting Algaeir are pressed into the Dark Mind war party to help with an attack against the Broken Bow tribe.
Lamila was better received among the Broken Bow tribe than the Dark Mind tribe, so she would rather side with them and so sends a letter to Algaeir via his wolf companion, instructing him to carry a letter to the Broken Bow tribe ahead of them, warning them about an attack. Algaeir took off ahead of them, avoiding Dark Mind scouts and at one point using his wolf as a decoy to get around a patrol. As he approached the large river between the Dark Mind and the Broken Bow, the sun was setting. He could sense that it would rain hard during the night, so he searched out a ford and crossed the river before setting camp.
In the meantime, Benquil, Hilbrent, Lamila, and Talia, along with the 13 sailors and 3 other passengers, made camp with the main body of the orc host, a few hours from the river and out of the wide flood plain. In the morning, they continue, coming to the river flooded high by the night’s monsoon. Unable to swim, the orcs turn to the adventurers and sailors in their midst for a way to cross.
The adventurers instructed the sailors to work slowly building the boats and immediately set to scheming. After producing and disregarding various plans for killing the orcs mid-river (and convincing the orc leaders that they need to go at night because of the river monster-dat convince roll!), they settled on a single boat plan, claiming that they need all of the sailors to man the large raft able to ferry 12 orcs at a time to the other side. The orcs we instructed to stand in front of the poling sailors who at the middle of the river would stab the orc in front of them while the adventurers and captain do clean up.
The plan got scary on the first trip, with several of the orcs getting cries off. They returned anyway, with Myron, Irion, and Elba still with the main army on the shore. They played off the shouts as the monster attacking but being driven off. On their next trip, they request their other people come with them, ferrying only 10 orcs this time. After killing them, they continue to the other shore where Algaeir and 100 Broken Bow orcs meet them, helping them break up the boat to make it look like the monster got it.
As the river flooded during the rainy night, Algaeir was forced to move his camp further from the river. In the morning, he continued toward Broken Bow lands, eventually meeting a lookout who escorted him to the city where he delivered his warning. At this point he was quite tired, but after only a brief rest joined the march of the Broken Bow forces to the river where after turning his sharp eyes on the orc camp and hearing the battles on the river he eventually met his companions crossing the river.
Exhuasted from forced marches with heavy packs, the sailors and party all slept while the Broken Bow orcs kept watch that night.