With a night’s rest having refreshed them, the adventurers made their way to Geissbach manor to look into just what had happened the previous night. According to Herr Hendrick, there was a Greenskin attack and pillaging of the manor, which was aided by most of the soldiers heading down to the village to deal with the rampaging beasts throughout the town. Many of the defenders and staff lay in the nearby hospice burned or otherwise injured, and most of the manor was a write-off. It was decided that Bissil and Halion would make for the main entrance to talk to Irina vonBrüner, while Valanduil would attempt to sneak around the ruins of the manor and see if he could discover anything that was either being discretely tucked away, or was small and valuable enough to be worth taking.
Irina vonBrüner proved herself to be an imperious, angry woman mostly concerned over the looting of her home, and demanded to her few remaining household members that they set off at once in pursuit of the Greenskins. Halion and Bissil, once they made themselves known, were commanded to “investigate” her on this hunt, while they pursued the creatures through the forest. Valanduil’s sneaking through the ruins of the mansion were, surprisingly, detected by Carmella Ostwald, captain of Irina vonBrüner’s household guard. He managed to explain himself, and was also brought before the Lady as a potential enlistment.
Though she wanted to set out immediately, the group manage to persuade her to wait for proper provisions and so that a plan could be formed. Quickly, Bissil and Valanduil made for the town to resupply, while Halion went to the Gardens of Morr to investigate the corpse of Heindel vonBrüner and determine if there seemed to be anything suspicious about his death. Gaining entry to the mausoleum was no problem, as the Priests were busy interring their own fallen brother that night, but she found herself unable to examine the corpse for one distressing reason – the corpse was not there.
With Irina vonBrüner unwilling to brook any more delays, a party was formed to chase down the greenskins consisting of herself, her Bretonnian servant Armande Dufournet, Carmella, and the adventurers. The steward of her manor Balthasar Klein stayed behind to guard Irina vonBrüner’s two daughters Sonia vonBrüner and Greta vonBrüner. Before any more daylight could be lost, they set out following the Orcish trail, which apparently had not taken much care to disguise itself. Valanduil, suspecting there was more to be found back at Geissbach, slipped the group after about an hour and returned to continue investigating, while Bissil and Halion made their way through.
It was two days of tracking before they caught up to the Greenskins, during which two things became apparent. Armande Dufournet was clearly deeply distraught by the attack and longed to return home, making Bissil question if he was a liability, and Halion noticed that Irina vonBrüner had several unusual occurrences of light regularly appear and disappear around her, once quite openly. She opined privately to Bissil that this seemed like evidence of spellcasting nearby, most likely centred around the Lady herself. Though these occurrences were troubling, they did not interfere with the group until they managed to catch up to the invaders. First there was an initial skirmish with some Goblins that was ended quickly, but later they came across the true group, slowed by its treasure. Composed of one massive Orc leader along with a number of smaller Goblins and Squigs, the element of surprise was on the group’s side and they plotted their ambush.
Halion was unwilling to commit to an attack with such fears about their leader – an unknown or untrained mage was as much a liability as anything they would be facing. Irina vonBrüner refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of their actions, but the Elf and Dwarf would not be budged from the feeling that she was concealing something from them. Their squabbles unfortunately drew the attention of a patrolling Goblin, and the fight was on. With a superior position, both Carmella and Halion were able to bring down a number of the lesser creatures before the battle was joined. Bissil hewed his way through the surprisingly durable Squigs, while Irina and Armande defended the ranged combatants from the Goblin. When the Orc arrived though, the creature nearly slew Armande in one blow, and only the fierce defense of him by Halion and Bissil prevented a second killing blow from descending.
As soon as the last Greenskin was saved, Irina rushed forward to the treasure pile to search frantically through it, caring little for the clear injuries suffered by her own people in the attack. Her panicked struggles ceased when she closed her hands around a small locket pulled from one of the bags, and announced that they would be returning to the manor at once now that their quest was completed. Though Bissil and Halion obviously had questions for her, she refused to answer them and haughtily offered them the rest of the loot from the manor if that would still their tongue.
As she was unwilling to answer any more questions, and uncertain of Carmella or the badly injured but still lucid Armande would be willing to support them if this came to a fight, the pair relented and gathered up the treasure, proceeding back to Geissbach. They hoped that Valanduil would have had more luck scouting out the area, but little suspected just how frantic their return to the village would be…