The group camps and the goes south towards the Thunder Plains Outpost. On the way they encountered beautiful scenic mountains, but no exciting adventure. They finally arrive at Thunder Plains Outpost and run into some dwarves. They let them know that they’re looking for reports of orcs in the area, for Lord Bradoc in Kraggodan. They send them to meet the Lieutenant in the tavern to get the information they need. Lieutenant Dan does have a report and hands them the papers. He says they’ve been seeing orc scouts going through the plains though there are more than they expect. Astrid looks at the report, and it goes back a few months. There’s a personal note from the Lieutenant to Bradoc saying that he believes him and thinks there’s something going on with the orcs. This is the evidence that they needed, and could possibly save Kraggodan from the impending orc attack.
The group wakes up in the campsite and find that Kel is missing, but his horse is still there. They found tracks not even a day old and followed them through hills quite a ways. As they’re traveling they get caught in a giant dust storm. The adventurers seek out shelter, but are lost in all the sand. Orin tries to cast an arcane spell that conjures up a tiny hut. He doesn’t succeed so they try to continue. Once out of the dust storm, they run into Kel who tells them of his adventures in another plane.
He woke up in a different plane, very similar to the material plane, and he found an ogre and a demon that was preparing an altar. Malam was there with the demon, near a box. Once Kel touched the box, he returned to the material plane, leagues away from the original campsite. Kel takes them back to the altar, but as opposed to the plane he was in, this altar is in ruins. Nothing of value was found at the altar and so they moved on back towards Kraggodan. They traveled through the hills and came upon two Tengu.
Hudson does a incredible gritty move and shot a bullet through an opening in a rock and blew the head off one of the Tengu on the first try in the beginning of combat. After that excellent start, Panera quickly kills the other Tengu with her crossbow. Another Tengu appears and slashes at Astrid but misses. Crawford quickly kills his brethren and kills the last Tengu.
They continue towards Kraggodan and find a large body of water. Orin and Astrid decide to swim across while the others go around. Panera, Kel and Malam, Crawford, and Hudson traveled around and encountered an owl bear. After some choice moves, they killed the owl bear and moved on.
Orin and Astrid arrived at the other side of the lake before the others, and ended up in a forest and hunting ground just outside of Kraggodan. They decide to explore a bit while waiting for the others to catch up and find a large venus flytrap just finishing up its meal. Orin threw some acid at it while Astrid, eager to practice her new training, lunged for the plant. After two swings of her bardiche, one of them a critical hit, she obliterated the large plant and continued with their exploration. They met up with the others and they arrived back in Kraggodan.
Hudson went into Hibok’s armory to bring him the pistol he found on the orc. He recognized it was from the gunslinger that passed through Kraggodan. He didn’t know the language so he sent him to Sathu. Hudson sought him out, a kindly dwarf that owned a scroll shop. He said that the inscription on the gun is unidentifiable, and doesn’t know the origin of the language. Hudson asks him if he knows of anyone he could contact that may know anything about the gun. Sathu says the only person that could possibly know about the gun, is the previous owner of the gun, the gunslinger that had passed through.
Astrid went to Bradoc and showed him the orc reports retrieved from the Thunder Plains outpost. He was delighted, and said once they get the last report from the third outpost, to take all of the reports and the orc heads to King Iogan. He says that the group’s willingness to aid Bradoc convinced Yusa to help them, even though she despises non-Dwarves. She told Astrid to meet her at the east alley of the Anvil of the Kings, and she would help her get into the Archives.
Astrid then goes to Sirlef to tell him the news, and to find out exactly what she’s looking for. She’s to find the original Darklands report by Gorin Greathammer, and to give it to King Iogan as well. He tells her that the Archives won’t have any dangers inside them, and it really is just a normal library. Unsure that she could find what she needed to in time, Astrid brings a couple of her companions along.
Astrid, Panera, Crawford, Orin, and Malam meet Yusa in the alley at midnight, and she shows them a secret entrance near the fountain. She asks them to find records of bribes between the Greathammers and Molthune, and they comply. She tells them they have six hours before the guards patrol the area, and so they hurry in to begin the search.
As Kel keeps a watchful eye through Malam, the others split up to search for the Darkland documents and the bribery documents. Panera searched through the tax records section for two hours, and couldn’t take it anymore. She sat in the corner of the alcove and cried for the next two hours. Orin, Crawford, and Astrid looked in other sections but didn’t find exactly what they were looking for, but did find other information. Among them were transactions of bribery dealing with the Skykings, a direct opposition to Yusa’s requested documents. They took those, just in case. They also found information regarding the fact that the past Great Matriarch, Refna Skyking, was good friends with a Greathammer, and was the mother of Vastan Skyking, the current Duke. They also kept this information. Other books obtained were a dungeon guide for the Darklands, a book on the Mountain Men, now known as the Hollow Men, and maps of Molthune and Nirmathas. With time running out, they kept searching frantically, with Panera now searching with them. Crawford found transaction records between Molthune and the Greathammers, from the years 4710-4712, depicting bribery. Then Orin found the Darklands Expedition document, written in an Eldritch language. Astrid couldn’t discern anything from it with her knowledge of languages. Astrid also found a book called “The Orc in You”, which would prove useful for their mission, and a Tome of Understanding.
With the documents they needed in hand, they left the Archives just in time, and went to bed after their long night. They discussed some ideas to possibly manipulate the Greathammers and the Skykings to have a meeting, and present them with all the documents they found, and to possibly create an understanding and a platform to work together. After all, the two families could be related. They also decided they would acquire the last orc report and then return to King Iogan with everything, so then something could finally be done about the impending orc attack.