The party began their day working to secure supplies and hirelings for their planned expedition to the Lost Tower of Azcagardhain, with their map purchased from Margdar and their instructions to take the time they need to delve the ruins, but hastily return with the translucent red egg once they find it.
As the team went about their preparations, Breniadir heard of a recent raid on a caravan north of Oakheart. A ranger was dispatched with support from the town guard, and the group was overdue in their return. A senior Ranger asked Breniadir to look into the matter if the group was heading north.
After speaking with the merchants, who definitely seemed overly worried about both their sacks and grains and a missing lockbox, the party decided to hold off on their expedition and investigate the attack on the caravan. The merchants, Gremmen and Forbin, offered 50 gp for the return of their grain, and 400 gp for the return of the lockbox – unopened.
Leaving Eignler, Duncan, and the newly hired Mordcant the Blue, Septimus the Linkboy and Arni the Craftsman behind to finish preparations for the delve to the tower, the group headed out to investigate the attack caravan.
Not far from town the group found the wreckage, and cautiously approached. The group avoided being surprised by an ambush from slime-colored Greenskin Orcs that remained to harass investigators. Making quick work of the orcs, the team then parsed through the wreckage, finding the lockbox missing, three dead merchants, and some items belonging to the ranger and town guards who were sent to find out what happened.
The group also noticed that one of the bags of grain contained a slick, oily substance. Merlin determined that the substance was poison. Finding a trail leading deeper into the forest, and evidence of orc tracks and drag marks leading the way, the party followed to learn more.
The group followed the trail to an old forest cave, engaging with a lookout just outside the entrance. Inside, the group fought two more Greenskin Orcs, and attracted others. First two more orcs joined, but these were also dispatched. Just as the party was reeling from their wounds, four more Orcs attacked from deeper in the caves. The battle was furious, but eventually our heroes prevailed.
The group discovered an underground river and more sacks of poisoned grain in one direction of the caves. In another they found two dead guards, as well as the Ranger and another guard who, while weakened, had not yet been killed, roasted and eaten. The party learned from the Ranger that the chieftain and his companion resided in the cavern beyond, and that they had vanquished all remaining orcs based on the head count given by these survivors. Taking up bows and arrows, the ranger and guard joined the group as they moved forward to finish the job of clearing the orc caves.
With some deadly aim, the party quickly killed the chieftain’s consort, sending the burly orc into a rage. It was for naught, for though the orc killed the remaining guard, the rest of the party vanquished the bestial humanoid and claimed victory. Inside his lair they found the missing lockbox, more sacks of grain, and a chest of loot.
XP: Everyone Makes 2nd Level!! Group decided keeping XP was no fun – we’ll be leveling up on GM decision.
Loot: 600 gp, 1000 sp, an ornamental but functional silver short sword worth 90 gp, and a Yellow Topaz gem worth 360 gp
Lockbox: several gems and coins, forged documents regarding the legitimacy of their mercantile concerns, a forged bill of sale for the goods, and a letter detailing the plot to delivery the tainted grain to the stables of the Rangers and town guard, signed by “Ambrusian.”