While Gorn’s men made swift work of the rebellion’s remnant, Codrus and his entourage completed a day’s journey to the orc refugee camp. It soon became evident that finding one voice to speak for the hodge podge of tribes might be difficult. It was considered that maybe the best course of action would be to make a public call to recruitment, and take whichever refugees they could get into the militia fold. While the group argued amongst themselves about how best to proceed, Culgeka wandered the camp site to gather his bearings, and stumbled upon an orc child who suggested he speak to a woman named Dyrdruh. Culgeka and his allies made their way to a large tent, to which the child had directed them. There, they met the woman, who it soon became evident was a nurse tending to the wounded, sick, and dying among the refugee thrall.
Codrus explained the party’s intention for visiting the camp. It took some persuasion for Dyrdruh to open up with them, but eventually she agreed to take them to see one who could possibly help. That man turned out to be an ambitious member of the Sky Eagle tribe, who had taken up the cause of the recently deceased warlord, Gruumsh, to unite the twelve tribes of of the orcs as one. Calling himself The Eye of Gruumsh, he explained that his movement was beginning to take hold among the displaced refugees, and that if he and the empire of Ruul could come to some agreement, he would be willing to commit the whole of the gathered orcish peoples to the war effort. His terms were clear: Codrus must publicly renounce Ruul’s outright slaying of Gruumsh at the Siege of Ogrefist Hold, and then tell those gathered that Ruul would recognize the sovereignity of a united orcish people. It would also be necessary for the king and his entourage to venture into the nearby Cloak Wood. There, refugees form the Stormcrow tribe, enemies of the Sky Eagle, who refused to live among the refugees falling increasingly under the Eye’s thrall, were in hiding after stealing an important symbol of the Eye’s movement—Gruumsh’s petrified eye. If the king would recover the symbol, return it to the Eye of Gruumsh, and make the public professions the upstart orc leader had requested, the Eye of Gruumsh believed it would be the final steps needed to secure his rule of the gathered orcs, and he would then be able to commit the forces to the war which Ruul was requesting.
While the party discussed among each other whether or not this was a wise course of action, Buteo consulted with the spirit world, and received a veiled warning from Sandahoku himself: the long term effects of orcish unification would be unpredictable at best, and there would be no way to truly know what its ramifications may be for Ruul or its people. In light of this, Codrus briefly considered turning down the offer, but ultimately decided it was the best course of action to deal with the immediate threat.
Together, he and his party began their trek into the cloak wood. On their way to the Stormcrow campsite, they were ambushed by several orcs. A bloody battle ensued. In the end, they succeeded in capturing one of the orcs, who revealed an eerie fanaticism and loyalty to a mysterious entity which he referred to simply as Malachi. Even threatened with pain of death, the orc refused to say more, except that the party could not even begin to comprehend the true scope of present day events. As the orc descended into fanatical, zealous ramblings, Lorzod stepped forward and forced him into a moment of clarity in which he could choose whether to aid them and live, or die. The orc toyed with him for some time, dragging out his answer, before choosing death with a smug lack of hesitation. With equal lack of hesitation, Lorzod drove one of his own arrows into the orc’s jaw, with his bare hands. The party left the corpse in the small, wooded clearing, and continued their journey toward the Stormcrow encampment.