The night that the griffin killed Bjorn, the keep gave him a warrior’s wake. His pyre burned all night long, and many a mug of ale was lifted in his name. A few of the adventurers even composed an overindulgent ballad, the Ode of Bjorn, the Hero of Brightstone, the tune of which was quickly spread around the keep and surrounding valley.
The following morning, the heroes rallied their men and formalized a plan for scouting out the orc forces. They discovered the campsite of up to a dozen orcs, but the site was days old and the trail split in two directions from there. One path led further up the valley, the other led back towards Brightstone Keep.
Trein Stonehelm took five men with him and followed the trail leading towards the keep, while Chillhollow, Aho Filsgar, Begrow Frith, and The Mighty Storm stayed at the site with the remaining men and made preparations – mainly they had a meal and waited while Chillhollow collected herbs and made a few remedies. After he finished, the hrimwisard performed a ritual to summon a heavy blizzard across the valley. This was met with many skeptical looks from the militia, but he reassured them that he would be able to better lead the way through the snow, and that they would be able to surprise the orcs.
And that they did. Coming upon a group of three orcs standing lookout in a copse of trees, the three mages were able to take them by surprise, and slew them handily with elemental magic.
Meanwhile, to the southwest, Trein and his men were on the lookout for griffins. Unfortunately, their attention was divided, and the group of orcish scouts they were tracking ambushed them, slaying nearly half their number before they were even aware of what had happened. Just as the melee broke out, Chillhollow’s blizzard caught up with them, and they were soon fighting for their lives against a vicious foe that they could hardly see through the heavy snow and sleet.
When the last orc fled, Trein and a single mercenary stood alone in the heavy, silent snow, surrounded by the steaming blood of their friends and their enemies.