As the party stood amongst the carnage of the orcish commonroom, they heard the pounding of many feet and something unsettlingly large coming their way. There was a moment of hesitation, then Orion began barking orders “Triochmerin, round the back; Gisfrid, ready your bow; Shri and Yrmengardis to me; Camphor, bring that lantern here, drink this potion and hug the wall, hit the big guy when he comes through”.
As everyone was assuming battle positions a huge orc in battle dress was seen to come a few steps into the light, then turn and flee the way he had come. The party made to follow him but turned back when they were met by a veritable stampede of orcish women and children.
By the time the non-combatants had passed, the orcish warlord (as the party assumed him to be) was out of sight but not, it would seem, earshot. As the party rushed north up the sloped passage they had seen him take seconds before, they came to a T intersection with a heavy wooden door to the right, and a curving passage to the east.
Pausing to listen, Camphor detected the sound of stone grating on stone off to the left and so the party hurried onwards down the passage. Not 100 feet later they were stopped short by a solid door, stuck fast in its frame. The mighty Gisfrid heaved at the door but it stubornly refused to budge. The entire party laughed aloud as, rolling up his sleeves, the frail elf Shri steped up and put his shoulder, popping it open with ease.
The room behind the doorway was surprisingly plush for an orcish cave, with worn but comfortable furniture and cushions on the floor. As Triochmerin watched the rear hallway for approaching enemies, the rest of the party performed a thorough search of the room.
Camphor soon discovered a tunnel cut into the wall and hidden behind a fine tapestry. Ducking quickly into and out of the hidden room, Camphor’s broad grin alerted the rest of the party to the presence of treasure. Camphor, Shri, and Orion hurriedly striped the secret room of everything of value, most notably a large iron chest, weighing perhaps 100 lbs.
The party held a rushed conference and decided to get out while they were ahead, hurrying out of the caves, pausing only to collect Jivko’s unconcious form and to swipe the tapestrys from the walls. The party traveled along the road untroubled until nightfall found them not quite half-way back to town. Though it was suggested that they make camp for the night atop a nearby hill, it was decided that such an exposed resting place just would not do, and so the party pushed onwards, hoping to camp in the shadow of the town walls.
Heavily fatigued and weighed down by both their wounds and their wounded (not to mention the orcish treasure) the party was ambushed a few hours after nightfall. As they passed near the river splashing was heard and many man-sized forms were seen to charge up from the water.
As the party hastily and none too willingly readied themselves for battle Triochmerin and Camphor loosed arrows into the ranks of the dark forms, but to little effect. As their charge brought them into the light it was observed that the enemy resembled overgrown, bipedal lizards all armed with crude stone spears. Gisfrid and Camphor quickly fell before the lizard-men’s fierce onslaught.
A truly ferocious melee then began as the party fought with the abandon of cornered animals while the lizard-men gave as good as they got. After a time two of the strange creatures broke off the combat and began dragging Gisfrid down to the river. With two combatants gone, the tide of battle turned and Triochmeren’s well placed shot sank into the side of Shri’s foe. Seemingly inspired by the gods themselves, Shri Jah exploded upon the creatures surrounding Orion, cut down all three of the abominations in a flashing whirlwind of steel.
With the fight over, Triochmerin rushed to Gisfrid, barely alive by the water edge, and began bandaging his wounds while Orion did the same for Camphor who was also close to death. The still active members of the battered party then regrouped and spent the next hour stashing the heavy armor and weapons in the woods and moving the more gravely wounded, as well as the iron chest (still unopened), to a camp in the woods, out of sight of the road, where they spent the night.
In the morning Orion used his magic to revive Jivko and the entire party limped back to town. On the way back they met a caravan coming the other way and Orion exchanged pleasantries with the guard and warned them of the ambush. Upon arrival in town the party set up the wounded in the tavern to rest while Orion made various enquiries. The chapel could spare no magical healing for the adventurers but an acolyte was sent to help tend to the injured.
Noone could contribute any information on the lizard-men the party had encountered, though the guard captain expressed concern over the ambush. It was also observed that the stable hands had caught two of Sir Fraglbert’s horses running loose with no riders and the keep was expectedly abuzz over this. Orion, Shri, and Triochmeren made a foray out later that day with Camphor’s donkey and Orion’s mule to recover the items of lesser value they had had to abandon at the ambush site the previous night. Upon arrival they found their things still hidden were they had been left, and also looted a heavy gold necklace from the largest of the lizard-men. Returning to town the party members broke off to go about their own business for the day.
The next morning Orion and Triochmerin went, on the recomendations of the banker, to see a Parthenios about selling the golden necklace as well as the silver armband Triochmerin had been holding onto. The meeting did not go particularly well, and they were forced to vacate the residence at speed in order to avoid violence. The swords, armor, and tapestries were liquidated with the help of the common trader and the necklace and armband were given over to Orion’s possession for safe keeping.