Our heroes decided to decipher the glyphs on the walls further to determine their next move. Finding the symbols for “eye priest”, the group thought they may be able to thwart the leader of the orcs and bring an end to their raiding ways. Locke was granted the power of invisibility temporarily by Irene, which allowed him to find what laid ahead: two orc guards and the orc priest, who had heard commotion from beyond their chambers and planned to set up an ambush. Knowing that they would need illumination to aid them, Krakkel decided to lead the rest of the group down a hallway and throw her illuminated waterskin toward the orcs to help them see. However, everyone started to engage before she could follow through with her plan, leaving her to just illuminate from within the front lines of the combat. Locke summoned a crocodile to assist in fighting the orcs, and Irene blasted down foes with magical evocations. Michaela attempted to fight against the orcs as well, but her sword never swung true to its targets. Even with the orc priest able to protect himself with magic and make one of his guards magically larger, the adventurers were able to defeat them. Michaela decided to stay in the chamber and alter it from a site for blood sacrifices to orc gods to a small shrine to Heironeous. She also offered to keep watch over the newly freed dragon and owl until everyone was ready to make a safe exit.
Irene, Krakkel, and Locke all retraced their steps until they were near the area they knew was indicated by symbols for “spawn”. Locke had already seen orcs inside the room before, and he was able to confirm again that there was a large number of them in that room, alongside all the timber they’d plundered. Though he had difficulty in determining their sex, Locke did see children among these orcs and saw that most of them wore little more than tattered clothing. Krakkel devised a plan to try to sway the orcs in the room, figuring they were all the females of the tribe. Knowing that orc females normally are oppressed by their men, she disguised herself, Irene, and Locke as orcs with glowing halos of light. Though the orc women were skeptical when they first saw the group, they realized that they did have the strength enough to take down their priest. However, they knew their chief still lay in the chambers beyond their room, and they would not fully take to this new order of female empowerment until their chief was dead by our group’s hands. The orc women and children then went out of the caves to pretend to harvest more firewood, waiting to see if their fates would change forever because of these new “gods” and “angels” they saw before them. Our heroes now brace themselves for the battle ahead. Will they finally be able to bring an end to the chief of this tribe and help save both the Withered Woods and the oppressed orcs?