After leaving the Orc women and children in their section of the cave, and feeling sure the Orc women would not betray them, the party pressed forward to the still unexplored part of the cave. Four new adventurers met the party, apparently being sent by Lord Carmen. A cleric, a ranger, a Half-Orc warrior, and and Elven wizard. After brief introductions, the original party members brought the new arrivals up to speed on the events thus far. It was clear that up ahead another Orcish party was gathering to do combat.
Eight Orc warriors led by two of their shaman met the adventurers further in. The newly reinforced party made quick work of the threat with minimal damage taken, although the Orcish magic seemed to have bested the Half-Orc warrior. After the battle, it was discovered that one of the shaman held a magic spear and reeked of the familiar fishy stink of those who imbibe the mysterious evil potions. The party also located Snagger the Dwarf’s missing gear and ale, of which, when returned, he partook of a draught with Anghara in thanks. Viko escorted Snagger and the human former prisoner back to town safely as the party pressed on down through the cave.
A new tunnel was discovered at the end of the Orc cave, leading down a long way. After some time without incident, the party was surrounded by a stealthy bunch of Gnome-like humanoids. These Gnomes did not appear threatening, and Bari began a parley. The Gnomes told the party that the tunnel leads to the Underdark and that many surface dweller prisoners with magical ability had been brought through recently. They also warned the party that they were not prepared and should return to the surface to prepare and learn of the threats they may face below ground. The party was to return in one week and meet the Gnomes again. The party agreed and left, thanking the Gnomes for the information.
On the way back out, the party stopped and ordered the Orc women and their lot to leave the caves, as they would be locked. The party offered the Orcs safe passage, advising them to seek out their kin in the hills to the north. The Orcs agreed and left with the party escorting. Once passing the gates, the party returned to search the final cave where the Orc women had been, checking for prisoners or clues. None were found. The party locked the gates to the caves and returned to Millborne.
The party reported to Lord Darius Carmen, and learned that there had been recent attacks by Giants in or around Thurmaster. The party relayed all information that they could and agreed to prepare and set out for Thurmaster as quickly as they could, as well as begin stocking supplies for their next venture into the caves. Suji the Druid took leave immediately upon returning to perform some ritual, only saying he would be back in one day.