Before leaving, Kern also gave a rousing speech to put the Stonehell Resistance Army (SRA) into action, and presented his rose hilt magic sword to Barfirth to cement that stuttering fighter's loyalty to the cause (and to himself). He also sent the SRA into town to get horses and supplies (and a new dog, Flipi, for Erijay). With that, Erijay, Kern and Bjorn headed out for the two day journey to the old drwarf hold where Sir Janus and Duncal awaited ...
They followed the trail to a point where a spur from the mountain reached down to the edge of the lake, the shore of which they were following. Seeing it partly frozen, they moved out onto to ice and traveled another few miles, coming to a point where a stream flowed out of the lake. Nearby was also a frozen marsh, in the centre of which could be seen a reed boat. Kern approached the boat, and inside found the dessicated remains of a dwarf covered in furs. He reached in to push the furs aside, when suddenly the corpse sat up and lunged for him! Kern called for help as he backed away, and Erijay and Bjorn answered with a barrage of magic missiles. Which ended that threat very quickly, and the corpse disintegrated into dust and rags. Which Kern pushed aside to uncover a find woven reed mat studded with small malachite gems.
That done, the party headed over to the stream. It was shallow and easily forded, but someone had recently pulled a fallen tree across it to use as a bridge. Figuring it must have been Duncal, they crossed over, and climbed into the wooded pass that led to the south-west. After several more hours riding, the sun was setting and the trio began thinking of setting up camp. Ahead they could see a crude collection of huts next to a stream. But before they could investigate, they were interrupted by fierce howls, as a mass of orcs jumped out of ambush beside the trail. The swarmed the three, and with nets and ropes tried to the pin them down. Kern Erijay and Flipi were successful, but Bjorn was pulled off his horse and held down with a knife to his throat. 'Surrender or he dies' croaked the leader. Seeing no other choice, Kern and Erijay put down their weapons and tried to negotiate. They had no luck, until someone mentioned trading their lives for a good meal of dwarf. That got the orcs interested, and they agree to let Erijay and Kern go to get 9 dwarves in trade for their lives, and the lives of the orcs other three prisoners (who Kern and Erijay quickly realized were Duncal and the two men). The orcs gave then 3 days, and kept Bjorn as a hostage.