The group reconvenes and discusses at great length how to best handle the orcs. As this goes on, Elada hears general conversation coming from the cave, one voice louder and deeper than the rest, speaking with a heavy accent. There is more activity in the cave as time goes on. Orders are heard and the fire in the cave goes out.
We decide that this is the time to move. Liarel casts goodberry and gives two to each member of the party, then casts fog above the guard outside the cave. As the fog descends, obfuscating our approach, Mella transforms into a panther and he and Elada approach the guard through the fog. The rest of the team moves around the fog to reach either side of the cave entrance.
Within the fog, Elada hears the guard voice confusion before she and Mella stumble into him. As the guard recognizes her, Elada cuts a gash in his armor with her great sword. He responds by catching her in the shoulder with his axe. Mella leas forward and bites the guard, a terrible taste filling his mouth. The guard calls out for reinforcements just before Elada, raging, slices through his face. The guard falls and disappears into the fog. Elada runs off to the right to join Danak.
A large, hulking humanoid with a giant axe comes out of the cave followed by five orcs including Brogar. Liarel casts faerie fire, illuminating the mouth of the cave as well as the giant and one of the orcs. The giant and three of the orcs begin heading for Elada and Danak. The giant almost brings Danak down with one swing of his axe and hardly seems to feel Elada’s attack. Mella spots Brogar and one other orc scanning the area and pounces. Brogar catches Mella midair with his axe, turning him back into an elf. From the left, Never casts witchbolt, sending a wave of electrical energy out at the giant as Danak slams into him with his great axe, causing the giant to stumble to the ground, still breathing.
Having sneaked through the fog, Droop stabs his dagger into Brogar’s side causing him to drop Mella. Brogar kicks out at Droop but Droop dodges. Mella tells Droop to go into the forest and find a blue flower with red thorns. He says this is very important. Droop sees no forest.
Elada swings at the giant while fending off the orcs’ attacks. Never sends out one more blast of witch bolt and the giant falls to the ground, charred. Liarel casts Melf’s acid arrow, burning an orc that had attacked her and Never. On the other side of the cave entrance, Danak and Elada make quick work of the glowing orc, who falls and is left to bleed out. Droop stabs Brogar again before retreating.
Mella unleashes thunderwave, dashing Brogar into the rocks, killing him. Danak knocks one of the remaining orcs into another as Elada produces a length of rope. Seeing the rope, the three remaining orcs begin to flee. Mella runs into the cave to investigate and Liarel thornwhips the only orc she can still see, bringing him closer to the group. The orc tries to run away, but Elada clocks him in the face, knocking him out.
Inside the cave, Mella opens a chest to find twenty pounds worth of coins and three vials of clear liquid. He pockets all of it, unable to determine what the liquid in the vials might be.
Outside, the group binds and questions the orc, but he does not respond. Liarel and Mella heal the party and Mella offers Droop as many coins as he wants from his pack. After Droop has filled his pack, Liarel takes the remaining coins and divides them up for the group. Meanwhile Never pulls Elada out of earshot and asks her to teach her how to say “you have to tell her the truth” in orcish. After a few attempts Never is able to say the phrase in heavily accented orcish and the two return to the group. Never casts suggestion on the orc, indicating Elada as the “her” in question and the group begins questioning the orc anew.
The orc begins answering our questions, but we can’t be sure if the spell worked or if it failed and the orc is lying to us. He says that Ohbarn is their leader and that the many arrows are located about four days to the north. He says that they are thousands strong and soon this all will be theirs. Danak beheads him and the questioning is done.
Mella digs a number of graves and collects a number of teeth while the rest of us set up camp in the cave. The night goes by without incident and we head back to the Old Owl Well. As we approach Kost halts his zombies and we relay to him what we have learned. Mella mentions that an army may be coming but Kost seems unperturbed. Never looks around the ruins with her Eldritch sight, but sees nothing magical. Liarel talks to Kost who says he is there to research the history of the Owl Well, but he has yet to learn anything. He says there is a creature in Conyberry with great knowledge who may have the information he seeks-namely the identity of the Owl Well’s creator. Mella presents Kost with the vials, realizing that one has gone missing, and they are revealed to be non-magical perfume. Coming back to the group, Never sees a glow of abjuration magic and two evocation magics coming through Kost’s tent.
Kost asks us to seek out the creature named Agatha in Conyberry and tells us he is a wizard of Thay. Never knows that they are a well known faction of magic users and Danak knows that they are unfriendly with the lords of Waterdeep, his hometown. Kost says he will keep his eyes out for any other disturbances in the area and we decide to head back to Phandelin.
On our trip, Mella questions the meaning of life and Danak voices his suspicion of the Thay wizards. We are all suddenly very aware that Kost was interested in where we left the orcs’ bodies. Never gets short with Danak who continues on his explanation of why the Thay are not to be trusted.
Back in Phandelin, Danak makes sure there are no new issues in the area and we get Droop outfitted with a child’s sword and some studded leather armor. Danak, Mella, and Liarel go to the shrine of luck to discuss the banshee Agatha with the priestess there. The priestess says Agatha must be given a suitable gift in order to answer questions, but she does not know how many questions each gift is good for. The priestess gives the group a silver comb to present to Agatha and asks that we ask for the location of a spellbook. She will not say why she wants it, only that it is not for her and that she may trust us more later. Mella gets snappy with the priestess, going so far as to claim she may be evil, and the priestess seems genuinely offended. Liarel and Danak manage to get the conversation back on track and they learn that the priestess had tried to ask Agatha herself, but could not get her to appear. She believes Agatha is harmless unless provoked. They discuss whether the perfume Mella found would be a good offering to Agatha and Liarel realizes that Droop smells very strongly of perfume. She tries to tell him that less is more, but he remains unconvinced.
Elada and Never go off to check in with Derren Eddermath. He seems concerned about the wizards of Thay and the army of orcs. He says the Owl Well was an old Nethereese outpost.
The group reconvenes and runs a few errands before returning to the Townmaster’s Hall to speak with Sildar. He is concerned about the orc army and says we should send word to the Lord’s Alliance. Danak tells him about Kost and Sildar also responds with suspicion.
We decide to meet up with Gundren at the Inn.