With their lead to Cragmaw castle dead, the group made their way back to Connyberry, and found that their cart of supplies had been taken. They headed south to first stop at Old Owl Well and investigate the old tower. Uri snuck into the tower and found a mage in a tent all by himself with a strange tattoo on his shaved head. The group left Talborak to the grasslands while they entered the tower. Once inside they found 10 zombies emerged from the tower along with a human guard. As combat was about to ensue the wizard emerged from his tent demanding to know what was going on.
The group talked with the mage who they were able to identify as a Red Wizard (specializing in Necromancy), which Mirela for once was quiet about. The mage identified himself as Hamun Kost and mentioned that he was there to investigate the ruins for ancient knowledge, but refused to divulge about what, though he did offer the party two jobs:
- Seek the banshee Agatha and find out the name of the wizard who built the tower, it would help in my research
- destroy the orcs to the south, they have sent scouting parties here and I fear they will attack before long, and I doubt my defenses could stand long against them
The group agreed to destroy the orcs (especially since they were already going to do that). And so the the group rested for the night and then set south looking for where the filthy orcs might be hiding. A few hours of searching around Wyvern Torr, and the group spotted a lone sentry and cave entrance in a hill. The group waited until dark and sent Uri ahead to scout. He deftly made his way up the hill, and as he was observing the sentry, he placed his weight on a loose stone he was using for cover which went rolling down the hill. The orc saw the now exposed Uri and ran into the cave shouting, as Uri ran away towards his companions. The group made their stand on a hill top, waiting for the orcs to close the distance in the dark. Luckily for the group the orcs forgot their tactics and made a slow advance, but then a crafty ogre that had been sticking to the shadows appeared, and the leader of the orcs swelled with power as if he had suddenly been promoted from a lowly orc grunt to a War Chieftain. Talborak came rushing in from where he had been rolling in the grasslands with coyotes in the nick of time as several of the group had fallen to the onslaught of the orcs. In the end they were victorious with no casualties on their part. Best of all they found their missing cart, and loaded it with the spoils of war from the orcs.
After resting they returned to Old Owl Well, collected payment from Hamun Kost for a job well done, left and discussed the fact that as a Red Wizard, should they let him keep exploring these ruins, since he was obviously evil. Eventually our “morally superior” group of adventurers attacked and killed the Hamund and his zombies, and looted all that he had collected. Resting one final night they prepared to head back to Phandalin, to collect their rewards, get a good nights rest away from wolves and ogres, and prepare to set out for Thundertree in search of the Druid Reidoth, who might know where the Cragmaw castle is located.