The group arrived on Hearthstone and was immediately forced to fight for their lives, arriving in the middle of the night during a blizzard. Despite the appearance of life within the elf embassy, they were unable to gain entry and took refuge from the storm in the ruins of what appeared to have been an ancient inn.
With daylight, and still cold, but much more livable conditions, the group began to explore what they found to be an apparently abandoned village, centered around the Elder Gates. During the rounds, Kyrian Stone discovered a wide path from the abandoned Halfling Embassy, and more signs of heavy usage around another old inn.
Distressed by the possibility of an Orc base only a few ‘blocks’ from their own location, the group decided to send Tamron Gale and Visenya to scout the building. Quiet as the elves were, they were not stealthy enough to avoid alerting the large dog that the resident orcs used to watch over them as they slept, and an orc came out with the dog on a leash to investigate the source of the animal’s distress. The unfortunate orc scout was immediately felled by an arrow from Kyrian’s bow – and the dog met a similar fate from one of Nero Torvus‘s conjured flaming rocks. The outcome of the conflict seemed encouraging when a third orc fell to another rock from Nero. Encouraging that is, until another nearly dozen orcs poured forth behind their fallen associates. Rushing toward the intruders, a motley band of what appeared to be mostly half-orcs charged their assailants urged on by three massive full orc males who stood behind and watched. Nero and Kyrian readied melee weapons, as Warbird and Oskar Dankil stepped up to support them. Visenya continued to fire arrows from the flank, as Tamron attempted to sneak into the orcs’ base and take them from behind. The group quickly fell into distress as they were badly outnumbered, and despite heavy casualties to the orcs, Oskar, Nero, and Warbird all took light injuries from the initial rush. Then, the three largest orcs decided to join the conflict. Warbird was felled almost immediately by two of the hulking brutes, while the third rushed Visenya and delivered a heavy blow. With the Free Tribesman down, Nero became the next on the list, as Kyrian struggled to free himself from the pair of assailants flanking him. Nero quickly followed Warbird to the realm of the unconscious, and Oskar was not far behind as Kyrian finally managed to finish off his last two opponents. With Tamron having disappeared into the inn with no further signs of him, the orcs now outnumbered the party four to two, with Kyrian and Visenya both having received injuries. The fate of the party seemed bleak, until with a grinding sound and shout, a group of eight ragged looking Dwarves emerged from a hidden passage beneath the statue in the middle of the square. Now facing ten to four odds against them, the orcs decided to abandon the fight and fled. Kyrian managed to drop the last of the weaker orcs with a bow shot as it ran, leaving the three strongest orcs as the only survivors.