It was early morning when the warriors left the keep on Bone Hill. Trada, Gistro, and Juni of the Oak Ring of Fletcher traveled to the south in order to scout out the surrounding area. Two warriors of Fletcher’s Peak, Spint and Pheezer, accompanied Lucio, Althaea, Hectre, and Eldrad on the journey towards Restenford. The two groups agreed to rendezvous at Bald Hill, a stony outcropping about an hour east of the town. The main party encountered some resistance on the journey east, but through skill and numbers, overcame the orc war bands patrolling the countryside. An honorable orc warrior who confronted the party on the banks of the River Restin declared, with his dying words, that this war was not an orc’s war, and that it was instigated by the new advisor to the War-King of Ardennes, a man named Baneous, the same man whose agents murdered Althaea’s father.
Neither party suffered any casualties, and reunited at the top of Bald Hill. Resting for the night would allow the warriors to regain their strength for the morning’s assault, but would put the surviving citizens of Restenford in danger. Juni fretted that the orcs might be using Restenford as a base to attack the wood elf refugees that fled Ardennes for the safety of Brei’s southern forests. They chose to rest for the night, and their watch would alert them if they saw any movement in the night.
No orcs left Restenford under the cover of night, and the adventurers began their attack at dawn. As they approached the city walls, though, the orc patrols seemed to vanish. They met no resistance in entering the town, and upon their arrival, found the village square deserted and eerily silent. The silence was soon broken by the sound of the castle gate grinding open, revealing another of the menacing, crimson-robed sorcerers that stood guard over Ser Hectre in the Bone Hill prison. Flanked by two orcs, he strode from the castle gates, clutching a raggedly-dressed peasant by the neck.
Hectre ordered the attack, and the party sprung into action. More orcs leapt from the shadows, and the Oak Ring immediately took arms to hold the attackers back. The party drove the sorcerer into a corner as orc after orc fell by their blades. Shaking with mad laughter, the silver-masked sorcerer took his knife and tore open his captive’s throat, relishing in the gore that spilled over his arms. He took a small ruby marble from a pouch at his side and slipped it into the crude incision. Within moments, flames had engulfed the corpse and transformed it into a towering, elemental monstrosity. Its infernal power threatened to overpower the warriors, but through powerful magic and cunning strategy, the elemental evil was destroyed.
With his last breath, the mad sorcerer turned to Hectre and rasped, “We know.”