By dawn, after escaping the burning man and his hell hounds, the survivors are exhausted, stumbling along barely able to walk. After losing our pursuers, the group tried to get some much needed rest. Gideon and Laurent were on watch, but as they were also exhausted and they fell asleep on watch. Charles de Mowbray kicks the young knight awake, muttering that there is something in the woods watching. Gideon, while trying to maintain watch, falls asleep again and is kicked awake by Laurent.
Scouts are sent out in an attempt to gain information on who the watchers are, how many of them there are, and what their intentions toward us are. The scouts return, some injured, reporting that the watchers are more like the captured Skag, and that they’re preparing to attack. Charles de Mowbray has a plan however, to defend the party against that attackers. The scouts on the forefront of the group, the Mercs just behind them, and the knights prepared to charge once the Mercs have taken their shots, focusing on the wolf riders, and anyone who seems to be a leader. The group is slowly retreating, the squires using the extra horses to trample the grass, preventing any of the attackers to sneak up on us, though the thick tall grass.
When the natives attack and the Mercs use their crossbows, taking down many of the attackers, but there are many more of them than of us, and they just keep coming, almost as if they’re determined to throw their lives away. When the knights make their attack, Gideon charges for the one he believes is the leader, hoping to take him out and protect his friends. He strikes his opponent in the head, but incredibly it manages to stay on it’s feet. After the charge, seven of the ten knights have come through and stay standing. After losing his lance, Gideon charges into the fray, fighting with his sword like a man possessed in defense of the scouts, who were in danger of being overrun.
Laurent also charged into the fray, throwing knives trying to take down the wolves being ridden by the creatures. He is badly hurt by the wolf he’d targeted. Charles de Mowbray went into a frenzy, and attacks, killing the leader’s wolf, and beheads the leader in single combat. Gideon ends up getting unhorsed, and is slightly wounded. Stefan attacks in his friend’s defense, just before he too is knocked from his horse by a wolf. He ends up unconscious, Gideon leapt in to try and rescue his friend. In a short, brutal fight, Gideon killed the wolf, saving Stefan.
Scouts are sent out again, and they quickly return with the news that there are two more large groups of these creatures headed this way. The party leaves immediately, making our way back to the Abbey. The sun has just started to set by the time we arrive safely back home, after a long day for forced marching.
Skag reveals that his people are called Orcs and that they are fighting a war against invaders, whom he names Elves from the hills to the north. He also reveals that storms have brought other strangers, people that are like us, in their wake. If the Orcs have no use for these people, they are killed.
Luc and Fin have also returned, bearing tales about the Elves, who can do magic, but who have been all but wiped out by the Orcs.. Luc also tells of a strange place, filled with booby traps. He also mentions an Elf who managed to sneak up on one of the Orcs and slit the creature’s throat, before indicating that the two men should depart. Upon his return, Fin begins to spend more time with the village midwife, an elderly woman known as Crazy Agnes, rumored to be a witch. Unbeknownst to the rest of us, Agnes gives young small wine skins filled with a strange liquid.
Prester Peter suggests that a small group be sent to seek out the Elves in hopes of forming an alliance with them. Much to his dismay, Prester Peter is selected to accompany Gideon, Sebastian, Fin and Luc. The small force sets out the following morning Luc leads them back to the strange booby trapped building Closer examination reveals that the traps do not seem to be set up to keep people out, but rather to keep something in.
Luc leads the group on, taking care to avoid the village he’d seen earlier. As the journey continues, we begin to encounter more and more groups of Orcs, and we’re hard pressed to avoid them. We find the remains of a 6’6" body at what we believe to be the border between the Orc held lands and that of these Elves.
Luc and Sebastian are on a scouting mission when they are captured by an Elven patrol. Bound and blindfolded, the two young men are carried to the Elven encampment. The others have started to worry when Luc and Sebastian do not return on time. Shortly afterwards, the Elves come and take the rest of us to their encampment. After some discussion, we are taken to another fortress in the hills. We end up being taken before Ikeshia Queen of the Elves, an incredibly beautiful woman despite the scars on her face and body.
All elves wield magic to some degree and their fortresses and cities are overflowing with beautiful and ornate building and items. The elves test the humans, finding them wanting in the realm of magic but are surprised to discover that the humans, through constant practice and greater physical strength, can match the elves in combat. Gideon even dueled with an elven swordsman and beat him although the opponents were evenly matched. Prester Peter did his best to negotiate with the queen but she was contemptuous of the humans, feeling they would be outmatched and overwhelmed by the Orc numbers. Prester Peter also discovered that the Elves have their own religion but that did not seem to bother him very much.
Elves ride Rathorns in combat and are contemptuous of horses. Ikeshia eventually gathered the humans to her and explained what she had decided to do. She had ordered an Orc to be captured and told that the Elves have a new ally, the humans of Glastonbury. The Orcs will predictably create an army to wipe out the humans. If the humans survive the attack the Elves will consider them worthy of becoming Elven allies.
A few Elves joined the humans as they returned to Glastonbury, apparently against the will of their Queen. The battle will be soon and many preparations need to be made before then.