We reached the half-orc settlement of Wellspring late in the day, cold and tired, hoping to not only avoid a fight but also receive sanctuary. I admit I was nervous as we approached the walls of the village and I had the others wait just out of bowshot of the walls. Before the war, these people had been more reasonable than most others of their kin, but how had the war affected them? I didn’t know, but felt it my responsibility to find out before I risked my friends. I approached the village alone and spoke with the guards manning the gate, explaining our need in perhaps too much detail. To my relief, they opened their gates and, though they were suspicious of us, one of their elders met with us and decided to not only allow us refuge, but to have us send a message back to Mithral Hall that Wellspring was their ally in this dark time.
That relief soured the next day when we discovered it wasn’t just a band of frost giants that was coming, but a small army of orcs as well. I doubted such a force was marching here just to find us, but I couldn’t help feeling guilty, as though we had led them to this small village. I had known it before, but spending time among them again reminded me that these half-orcs were good people who rejected a heritage that so many others embraced. I could not desert them to an army of their evil kin. The others agreed to help the village if so needed, but sent Xil back to Mithral Hall with a report.
In the meantime, we helped the village prepare for the possible battle ahead. The elder told us of tunnels behind the village that could be used to evacuate should it be needed, but we hoped that either the army would pass by or that, if they attacked, we could hold them at the walls. During the preparations, I was impressed with one of their number, Kosh, who rallied their warriors and did much to quell the fear many in the village were now fearing. When the army came near, they stopped and sent an envoy to the gates, where they demanded of Kosh that they surrender us and pledge allegiance to them. Kosh danced around the part of us, but demanded to know who it was he’d be pledging to. Finally, confronting them about the Kuruck, the giant envoy smirked and named himself their mouthpiece.
It was obvious now that the Kuruck were not just some rogue tribe, but were amassing an entire army with giant allies.
When Kosh rejected their terms, they attacked. We revealed ourselves and aided in repelling the first wave of attackers at the main gates, but it was obvious we wouldn’t be able to hold the village against such an army. The villagers fled through the tunnels, with us helping hold the walls long enough. Finally, we fled as well and collapsed the tunnels behind us.
We came out far to the south of Wellspring and decided we’d escort the now homeless half-orcs to Mithral Hall and plead for them to receive the refuge they gave us in our time of need. Simple enough. How were we to know we’d be harried by winter wolves, lead by that two-headed beast from before!? How did that army find us so quickly?