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Arday 4 Watchman the last day of the year, my friends and I wake and after breaking our fast wonder which way we need to go. After James and Gnoman cast warmth on us all James levitates Thorn 180′ up above the trees so he can make sure he takes us north this time. Once above the trees Thorn can make out north even though he can not see the hilly grove we need. So we head north for another day, it is still snowing lightly and cold but the warmth spell keeps each of us warm. We walk on and on through the trees for hours then after a few hours of walking.
Ahead, 65′ away, we see a group of orc’s as surprised as us to see each other. There appears to be 5 warriors with a leader, properly a patrol.
Gnoman reacts fasted and moves behind a tree and starts to cast a spell, then Thorn steps forward and covers himself with his shield. I start to sing to inspire my friends while holding my shield up in a cover position. James always ready with his Elven bow lets loose a arrow which hits a orc in its right arm. Those orc’s break into a run and run towards us around the trees.
Gnoman disappears from my sight, he must have cast invisibility, A new tall orcish figure comes into sight behind the orcs swinging a two handed hammer. I fail with my singing and throw a javelin past James who is in front of me at the orc nearest to him. Lucky I miss James but also the orc. James then throws his bow into the nearby tree and draws his two handed sword waiting for the orcs to reach him. The orcs reach us and attack James but misses while his parry with his sword damages the orc’s axe like weapon. Another attacks Thorn and also misses, while another hits me in my right leg even though I managed to get my shield up in time.
Thorn swings his holy mace at a orc but fails to hit the moving target. I ignoring the pain in my arm draw my club, while James swings his sword and hits a orc in the head, however it just seems to bounce off the orc’s helm. At the back the new comer attacks the patrol leader who is knocked back into a tree.
Gnoman reapers behind the two orc’s James and I are engaged with, multi coloured flames burst from his hands and flicked over the backs of the two orc’s, burning one of their arms black. The new comber at the back attacks the orc between him and the leader and smashes the orc’s right arm. James slices off the burnt right arm of the orc while I bash the other orc back from me with my club. Thorn hits out at a orc with his mace, the orc uses his shield to parry and pushes away from the combat. The orc’s who can run the leader and one other can’t.
The big half orc new comer moves to engage the leader, as does Thorn, while I look for my javelin and James goes for his bow.
The leader soon goes down stunned from a hammer to its head.
We tie the leader up with belts from the dead orcs and we loot 37sp from them. Their armour and weapons are of no use to us so we leave them. James finds my javelin while I pray and try to heal my right leg. While I am doing that we introduce ourselves to the half orc once he calms down from his battle rage. It turns out his name is Arnost and he has a great hatred of orc’s and is searching for Greymoor and the orc who fathered him and thereby killed his mother. I start to sing to calm Arnost down as he realises that we have two feared magic uses in the group. Once he is calm and we have caught up with each others names and light background, we go to question the orc leader in case he knows about the grove we are looking for. However he has gone leaving behind broken belt bonds. We destroy the mars and armour that we could not use so no one else can and then have lunch..
Before we continue on we talk about the need to find the grove and Arnost says he slept on one like that last night. However as he has no sense of direction he could not find it again. We ask if he can track and he says yes so we get him to find his tracks and follow them. This is helped by his and my prayers to the Old Way’s. In the late afternoon we come across a hill with trees. The sides of this hill are grassy with small shrubs and flowers, wild but controlled. The oak circle at the top, is 300′ across and also has lots of wild flowers growing in it. There are 20 massive very old oak trees surrounding this meadow, with a bubbling spring in the centre. We are met by 5 5’6″ slender females with red or gold hair matching the leaves on the oaks. Gnoman says hello and asks if they will come down the hill to his level. I start to talk to them but James interrupts me. We realise that we need to give them something of value, so I give them one of my costumes. They say we can stay the night in their grove and we will be safe. So we camp my the spring and build a fire on the rocks near it. We talk to them and find out that there are twenty of them one per tree we also ask about the memorial we are looking for. They tell us which of the tracks from the grove to take and how to find the craggy hill it is in. So we spend the evening thinking about our brief adventure and what each of us has learnt so far.
Next morning, Bleday 1 Wolf, the first of the new year, warmth is cast on us all except the barbarian from the north Arnost, and I use my healing potion to cure my still injured leg. After a few hours of following the track and direction given by the Dryads we are suddenly surprised by three elves who approach and say, ‘go back, do not find what you are looking for’. They then disappear. Arnost thinks it is magic but his hairs have not risen so maybe not, while the others look around to see if they are still there, however there is no sign.
We continue, we have to as we are out of sliver and its a long way back to Greymoor and our guilds will not be happy with us. A while later we come across a large craggy hill covered in vines and other growth. Gnoman moves ahead and working carefully finds the entrance behind the undergrowth. I sing to inspire them Arnost says he does not think the are has magic on it so we send James in first as our leader. He reports that he sees statues of two Elven soldiers stand near the door, also overgrown by vines. One of them is missing an arm. Most of the paint has chipped and worn off. Closer inspection reveals that one of the statues has a Black cloak, and one a Green one. The front door bears a heavy rusted chain whose lock has been broken off. James thinks this might represent the elf conflict which created the Drow.