The battle for Morsby over, the party did a cursory examination of the town’s defensive activities in case of further attack. Most was in good order, though Iban took some time to consult and instruct the local wizard, an old man with little idea of how to use his magic for the town’s benefit. Iban eventually gave him a flame arrow scroll to aid in his work, should it be required. The local leaders, including the mayor, were very worried about further attacks. The river and spillway were no defense, he said, as the enemy could cross further north or south and approach without hindrance. With the road to Manston cut, no aid could be expected from that quarter, and the towns to the southwest and west were distant and likely would be of no aid. Herron, the party’s horse holder, was then scrounged up from the widow’s cottage in which he seemed to have moved into and made to properly see to the horses, as they would be needed.
Next day, the party decided to ride out to the east along the Dwarf Road to look for the lost caravan, taking extra mounts with them supplied by the town so they could ride fast. Arduin continued to insist on heading back to the highlands to scout the fortress he’d discovered, but the party was more interested in the movement of enemies nearer to Morsby. They came to the site of the attack some three leagues away, to find a number of burned out wagons and some bodies. Surviving wagons had been driven back off to the east, as Parker previously reported. Continuing on for most of the day, the party deployed their two rangers north of the road to watch for any turning off, but saw nothing.
later in the day, as the party moved through rougher terrain, they were attacked by a patrol or ambush of Bugbears and Ogres. The fight was short and sharp. A bugbear managed to kill Cadwallider’s horse out from under him, but not until he’d paralyzed two Ogres with his wand. The captured Ogres were questioned under ESP and revealed that the captured caravan (and others) were being used to develop a supply depot for the Giant King’s army in the region. Captured barges were also being used to ferry supplies and troops across the Blueflood. Regarding the Giant King and magical support, the Ogre was aware that among his chief advisors was a witch, who went hooded and cloaked and never showed her face. He had other wizards in his service, as well, capable of flight, invisibility, fireballs and other spells beyond the knowledge of the Ogre. Also, the attack on Morsby had been a mere raid to assess its strengths and weaknesses.
Given this knowledge, the party slew the Ogres and turned due north. They would strike for the Blueflood and then turn east to follow it in search of the enemy’s crossing point with a vague idea of disrupting it and the supply depot. They eventually ran afoul of a party of Ogres and wiped them out save one taken prisoner who merely informed them that this group was sweeping the lands from east to west, killing and burning any settlements they came across (they’d only seen a few Halflings that fled before them). As the party continued north, they noted wolves in the gathering darkness paralleling them for a short time, but they never came close.
The party eventually reached the river area and camped in a hilly area to observe the river, on which they saw some debris coming downriver – bales, boxes and finished lumber. Later, a party of wererats passed nearby, clearly seeking to avid the party. A divination spell revealed these were remnants of the wererat and werewolf settlement nearby, now scattered and leaderless, and fearful of the party.
Next day, the party quickly scouted back towards the road and the Old bridge Inn, a caravan stop in the wilderness between Morsby and Manston. It had been wiped out, the people living in and around it slain, taken, or fled. The party now thought it might be better to seek the enemy via Arduin’s way rather than directly confronting the army that seemed to be operating in this region…
(I don’t recall if you decided to do that, or merely discussed it)
– Experience: 575 XP each