Resting and recuperating for a few days, several members of the party take some time to get in some training for their new abilities. During this time Yoriek takes charge of reporting the results of the expedition to Portia. She is pleased with the results, and with the monsters cleared out, she can mount another trip that is more academically inclined. True to her word, she pays them the 650 Griffon fee she agreed to provide. Additionally, she reveals to Chiad, that Professor Washburn had left the scrolls and spellbook that Janus had commissioned in her charge. As the nearest folks to family, she gave it to her.
She also provided a letter of introduction for the intrepid group to the Professor so that he would see them. Yoriek took the lead in negotiating with him the identification of the nmagical item that they discovered while Searching for the Lost friends. They agreed upon a price and were able to identify some items relatively quickly, but needed to leave some behind as identifying items takes time and energy.
Yoriek spent some days in meditation and prayer while Arella, Chiad, Dinah, and even Argus completed some training in their various arts. After several days, they packed up and set out for Orlane. Yoriek wanted to investigate the “Haunted” House of Kanos that Artemis recalled. He wants to establish a base to return to outside the capital. The group decided that Mayor Ormond could provide them with a letter of introduction to the mayor of Farstead. He agreed to do so and so the party spent the evening in town before heading to Farstead the next morning.
Upon arriving there, they sought out mayor and judge Clayton Miles. They spent some time conversing with him on a number of Topics, including Janus’ insulting behavior, the vindication of Falrik Moondance, and the disposition of Kanos’ property. Before they could determine what could be done about acquiring Kanos’ mansion, a messenger arrived in Farstead seeking Dinah and Artemis. The message, from Aldrelle the Druidess, contained a directive for Dinah and request for Artemis to join her in the town of Nolivari to help the people there following an unusual attack by a tribe of norkers.
The party decided to join them in agreeing to meet with Aldrelle and the townsfolk of Nolivari to see if they could be of help to the town. Feeling that time was a factor, they traveled over field and meadow to the little town. Once there, they met with the druidess, the town ruler, Sir Corin and his wife, Siress Teliva. In that discussion, they learned of the increasing attacks by the norkers over the last few weeks. Aldrelle, concerned that someone was organizing the usually chaotic norkers, charged Dinah with determining who was marshaled the norker attack. Sir Corin added he would reward the group with 800 Griffons for neutralizing the norker tribe and bringing back any pertinent information. All members of the party, rewards and commands notwithstanding, felt as though helping the townsfolk of Nolivari was the right decision, and agreed to the task.
After spending the night in town, the rangers Artemis and Marty tracked the norkers back to their caverns, less than 10 miles away, in the southern foothills of the Dragonsteeth Mountains. Immediately as they entered the cave, they were attacked by a pair of norker guards. They quickly dispatched those and descended through a trap door down the ladder into the cave.
It leads to a small nearly square room with a door and a passage out. Choosing to force open the door the party finds a hallway that is “guarded” by a passed out norker. Having seen the destruction and damage caused in Nolivari and the surrounding countryside, Dinah killed the guard where he was befuddled is his cheap wine. Beyond the guard, the passage wound around to two doors. Opening the southernmost door, they found a room hewn out of the riock to form a prison of sorts. There they found a dead goblin and the skeletal remains of a dwarf. Among the living they found a merchant who had been captured and awaiting to die, a flind who had been tortured and was so close to death that they decided to put it out of its misery, and a norker named Kargh. Upon questioning him, they found that he was imprisoned for opposing the chief’s alliance with a human named Grakhirt. He said that if they would release him, he would show them how to find Grakhirt and the chief.
Yoriek and company debated this and finally agreed, releasing Kargh. Following him, he led them directly past two guards and into the throne room of the chief. Kargh, in his anger, charged the throne and attacked the chief. The guards and the warriors in the room with the chief, choosing not to take sides in this battle, attacked the party instead. While Kargh fought well and got into some telling strikes, the chief finally slew him. The party had magically held two of the warriors & guards, killing one other one in the process. A few well placed arrows took down the already injured chief and the group finally killed all the norkers present, just in time to have another one arrive to see what all the noise was about. They were able to dispatch him before he could go and sound the alarm.
Taking some time to loot the bodies, they grab some coins and jewelry and discover that the curtain behind the throne isn’t covering a wall , but an entrance to the chief’s chamber. There they discover a locked iron bound chest. Arella missed locating the trap in the lock and when she picked it, she was pricked by a poison needle. Fortunately, luck was on her side and she suffered no ill effects from the poison. The chest contained several thousand coins, some more jewelry, a magic spell scroll.
Emboldened by their good fortune and supported by the use of cure spells and healing potions, they pressed forward to find another locked door. Arella once again picked the lock to reveal a pair of chambers containing what looked to be the tribe’s supply of food and drink for the coming winter.
Taking another passage that led to a door, they open the door to find two norkers guarding another one who is sleeping. The close quarters combat prevents the entire party from getting involved, but noting the apparent layout, Yoriek leads half the party down a nearby passage to find a second entrance to the chamber, effectively surrounding the three norkers. After a short fight, they kill the norkers and loot their bodies.
Going back to look at the passages they passed through to surround the three, the party discover the norkers weapons cache (such that it is) and a cold storage cavern with more foodstuffs. They decide the best course of action is to leave the foodstuffs and let the citizens of Nolivari come retrieve them after they clear the lair. Making that call, they then head down the last passage only to have it branch. Sending a party member down each passage to listen, they accidentally disturb the female and young norkers in one of the caves, only to discover the two branches were connected and the screaming young alerted the surviving soldiers to the party’s presence.
Given the cramped and close quarters and feeling that they had pressed their luck enough for one day, they did a fighting withdraw, killing one more norker as they exited the lair. Once above ground again, they prepared for the expected pursuit, but none came and they retreated back to Nolivari without incident.
They reported to Sir Corin the events that had transpired and agreed to stay near in the event of another norker attack. With that, they went back to the inn for the evening.