Salzar picks up the screaming orc infant. He instructs his raven-formed imp familiar to carry it to Grenscombe, there to leave it to be raised by the inkeep Stead. Meanwhile, Jason and Wrenn restrain Enna, while Helge slips off into the forest, disgusted at his friends’ conduct regarding the child.
The heroes continue north before they decide to finally turn east into the forest proper. It soon becomes clear they’ll have to abandon their horses in the soft undergrowth and broken terrain of the woods. They tether them together and leave them to walk the road. They trek confidently through the forest for some time, oblivious to the fact that they are quickly becoming lost.
After a few hours, they come across a set of bootprints, heading perpendicular to the direction they are going, which they believe is east. While Enna is inspecting the footprints, Salzar hears a high-pitched whine deeper in the forest. The adventurers resolve to follow the footprints, while Salzar’s familiar flies to inspect the noise. Some time later, it sees an alluring blue mote of light, which soon drains all life energy from the imp, severing the psychic connection to the warlock.
The party soon lose the trail, but not long after, stumble straight into the Obvious Goblin Ambush. True to form, they quickly dispatch the assailants, leaving the last member alive for questioning. Despite the goblin’s lack of Common vocabulary, he advises them that using the Broken Crown talismans won’t fool anyone, and only the (now very dead) captain knew the way to the stronghold – which he refers to as the Siegeworks.
The terrain grows hillier as the adventurers travel north, and the forest thins out somewhat. The afternoon draws on, and they spot a stone building in the distance; Enna senses two very strong orc-signals. They stake out until evening, spotting shapes moving along the walls but no other movement. At twilight they begin their assault, which quickly goes pear-shaped when they come under ballista fire, nigh-mortally wounding some of the party. Nevertheless, they reach the wall and successfully hide flush with it.
The Siegeworks is low and flat, roughly square in plan, with a three-story tower in the northwest-corner. Part of the southern wall is collapsed, and so some of the party clamber up it. At the top are the two ballistae, manned by goblins, but not for much longer. The rest of the party scale the walls (or at least try to). In the courtyard are two big hulking orcish creatures, who had been hauling a siege engine; Enna, with intimate knowledge of orc taxonomy, identifies them as orogs. They put up quite a fight, employing the formidable speed common to orcs to close the distance to the wall. But they prove no match for our adept monster-killing heroes.