After some conversations with the inhabitants of the Goliaths’ town, our stout heroes cast about for a worthy quest and mission. In the morning, the goliaths informed the Company that, “There shall probably be no fighting this day or soon.” To which both Prince Ardjuna and the Paladin Ember replied incredulously, “The gods forbid that there be not!”
The Hindaean warlord bethought himself straight way that there should be no opponents more deserving of his wrath than the treacherous Gnomish barbarians who treated the highway as their own. Furthermore, having already learned that some of the Goliath merchants were eager to pacify the fierce and cruel Orcs that peaceful and civilized trade and communications might flourish, Ardjuna endeavoured to persuade the his fellow Adventurers to provoke the orcs to wrath.
Forthwith the Company of Adventurers marched out of the Goliaths’ town and took the mountain road back northwest toward the Orcish village. As they journeyed, the Prince blasted upon his horn that the Gnomes should know that their reign of banditry was ended. The Gnomes did not disappoint in their rashness and ferocity, and soon four Gnomish shamans and their swarms of badger minions ambushed the Company. A bloody fray ensued, and the power of the defeated Gnomes surely indicated that they had thrown their utmost reserves of strength into this battle. In the aftermath, Ardjuna presumed that the Gnomes would no more dare to molest travelers on this road. (The others were much more dubious.)
Although the Company had been sore wounded and no little exhausted, the Adventurers pressed onward to the Orcish village, since Ardjuna mistakenly assumed that a small village could field only a few fighters. Beside which, he had a cunning plan.
The Orcs failed to cooperate with said plan, instead luring the Company to the edge of the village onto a more or less open field. Nonetheless, the Prince and the Paladin boldly told the Orcs of the Goliaths’ warlike intentions, and they advised the Orcs to pack their belongings and migrate entirely to the north. The Company impressed upon the Orcish chieftain that resistance was futile, since the illustrious and warlike Duke of New Hope would also join the war.
The Orcs became belligerent, but worse they almost immediately embarked on treachery, for they had no qualms about attacking four non-threatening messengers and heralds. Suddenly, the Company was attacked. At this point, rather than flee immediately, the Warlord Ardjuna advised a concentrated attack on the Orcish chieftain to discourage his followers and perhaps start an internal quarrel over which Orc should succeed as leader.
Mighty blows rained down upon the orc, but he stood unbent and revealed his strength. Meanwhile his followers proved quicker and abler than was thought, and they surrounded all four Adventurers in a wreath of steel spears and axes. The Adventurers bethought themselves then to withdraw, but even this proved difficult since they were surrounded and there were so many foes to cut through and fight past.
Forunately, their newfound comrade the sorcerer appeared on the cliffs above the battle, and he proceeded to rain death down upon the orcs. Cowed by the divine fury of the paladin, the chieftain fled back. Alas! At that very moment a great dire wolf bearing a warg rider came in view, and the Company knew that it was time to flee. In the end, the Paladin Ember had to bear away the almost lifeless from of the Priest Karak, but everyone escaped.
Forthwith they met the army of the Goliaths on the march. The Goliaths were informed of the orcish treachery, and Ardjuna and the Genasi Sorcerer accompanied the army against the orcs. Victory was at last achieved, and the new trading post could be established at the crossroads. Now commerce and the exchange of ideas could flourish between the Goliaths and the people of New Hope.