The thing that hit Melech turned out to be a pixie. It shouted at us to hide. Suddenly I heard Orcs shouting ahead of us. It turns out that Beiro understands Orcish and told us the Orcs were hunting for the pixie. Amafey and Melech climbed up the nearest large tree. Beiro attempted to follow, but just couldn’t manage to climb and quickly gave up. Not sure what use he thought he would be up a tree in combat.
The orcs came into range and I let loose with an arrow hitting one. Magical darts came flying out of the tree striking the leading orc, downing him. Beiro let loose with a javelin. A weird glow appeared around two of the orcs. Presumably some kind of spell cast by Amafey.
I let loose with another arrow hitting another orc. The orcs then responded by throwing some Javelins at Beiro. He was hit but responded by throwing his own Javelin back. More magical darts from Melech struck the remaining Orcs with one more going down. The remaining Orcs threw more Javelins before moving forward to engage us. One of the orcs struck Beiro knocking him down. I saw the other orc to my left approaching so draw my sword and with a powerful strike cut him down. By now the orc that had struck Beiro had also been killed.
Amafey, Melech and I rushed over to help Beiro. I managed to stop his bleeding and stabilise him. I searched the bodies of the orcs finding nothing useful other than a bit of coin. I noticed the warpaint was identical on all the orcs. Not something that I had seen before. They had acted far more as a single unit than I had experienced before.
Amafey was talking to the pixie, who was explaining that a “hag” was corrupting the forest and orcs had been coming into forest frequently. We asked
the pixie about the painting from the hall. Alas though it didn’t know anything about it. However it told us of a “fey friend” who lived in a cottage further upstream.
We discussed what to do next and came to the conclusion we make camp for the night and then proceeding upstream to find the fey friend in the morning. We set off early continuing up the river at a steady pace. After some time we came across a scarecrow on the bank of the river. It turned towards us, a rather odd behavior for a scarecrow! At this point we noticed another one further into the woods from the stream. Amafey cast an illusion of her self into front of one of them. It struck out at it, clearly not something friendly.
We decided to avoid them by crossing over to the other side of the stream for a short while. Further up stream we came across an old woman picking mushrooms. She noticed us and yelled out a greeting. We went over and began talking to her and asked her questions about the fey and orcs we had encounter. We also inquired about the fey friend and painting we were searching for. She replied that she had never seen any fey or heard of the fey friend or painting.
She invited us back to tea at her cottage stating she rarely had any visitors. We accepted, though I was a little uneasy about it, maybe she was the hag? We began following her and soon came to a clearing where the cottage was located.
We went inside and the old woman set about making tea. I excused myself to use the privy. I came back in as the woman was taking the pot of the fire to make the tea. Seemingly mid conversation with the others she was stating our “true purposes”. I was beginning to grow suspicious of the woman, not all was quite as it seemed.
She offered Melech time to study some of her books, he seemed somewhat reluctant at first but was unable to resist the offer and accepted. The old woman stated she would think on a favour to ask for in return. She pointed out a particular book on a self and Melech went over to retrieve it.
I sipped the tea while Melech quickly scanned through the book. he requested he be able to keep the book for a while and the woman agreed. I had had enough at the point and stated that we should leave, making my way towards the front door. The old woman was beginning to make me really uneasy. Beiro spoke up and asked what the woman’s name was. People call me Old Mother Basket she stated.