The story begins with Qwellena, D’Hain, Laird, and Vetrinari entering the elemental sanctum of a small village emptied by the plague. They have ventured into the wilderness to hunt orcs, having heard rumors of raids against travellers and settlements in the region. Their search of the town’s sanctum revealed that it had already been looted. As they left the sanctum they were attacked by an orc scouting party. One among them charged away on a worg, but was dispatched by Qwellena’s arrow. The remaining two orcs and their dire wolf were quickly delt with, but after the fight the party observed the dust cloud of an entire orcish company riding down the mountain road into the village. How ominous… beyond the borders of the conquered lands, orcs are rarely seen organized in such numbers.
The adventurers hid themselves among the empty buildings and initiated recon operations, seeking information about the horde. Among their number they discovered a gnoll-skilled hunters frequently employed as mercenaries of the orcs-and a human, presumably a slave, though not bound or caged, wearing the hairstyle and clothing of the Old Ways tribes. The orcs ride beneath the Vanquished Faces, the battle standard of Galal, who was himself seen leading the horde. Though they discovered the bodies of their search party, the horde took no immediate action to seek out those responsible. And though they searched the elemental sanctum and found it looted, they seemed undeterred from their course of action. Further intelligence revealed that the orcs were certainly here seeking something other than relics.
The session concluded with the party spying on a small orc patrol from a rocky overlook above the road leading out of the village.