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L'amore tra i mostri: Session 6, Q1b-3

Continuing the romantic adventures of...
Captain Carlino Orsini, human fighter, soldier, hates orcs
Don Pantaloni d'Oro, elf illusionist, noble, hates orcs
Liliana Casale, human rogue, spy, hates orcs
Gino "The Oak" Leone, human druid, guide, wonders about orc stew...

[Since we got into the wilderness, I've lost the romance...]

1b. What actions consistent with the heroic motivation do the heroes take that bring them into conflict with a looming hostility inherent within the setting?

Be the PCs first:
Encounter: infiltration
Place: Orc Hills, Northern Wilds, the morning after the orc-ape battle
Still disappointed at the previous day's failure to secure answers from the now-dead orc chief, Orsini convinces the others that they ought to investigate the caves that the orcs had recently moved into to find any evidence pertaining to the items the orcs possessed that had come from the Sea Claws, the elite sailors of the Merchant Prince. Gino is all for it and believes that the weakened state of the remaining creatures should make exploring less hazardous. They proceed at a "cautious" pace [as per Next's new exploration rules].

Be the GM next: 
Story Cube: angry face
Not too far into the cavern, the group can hear the sounds of orcs arguing amongst themselves.

Be the PCs once more: 
Liliana, successfully sneaking ahead, counts nine of the brutes. Orsini gives the command to ambush them! Liliana's sneak attacks and Gino's Moonbeam spell take the creatures very much by surprise, and Don Pantaloni is quite accurate with his short bow. Unfortunately, Orsini is severely injured by a raging orc [critical hit] and the others must scramble to save him before he is killed. Fortunately, the heroes prevail, but it was indeed a close one for the fighter! As Gino tends to Orsini's wounds, Don Pantaloni mentions that, amid their squabbling, the raging orcs had repeated a phrase multiple times: [Story Cube: fountain] they kept arguing about "the spring."

2. What unusual event occurs soon afterwards? 

Be the GM first:
Story Cube: reading
Encounter: intrigue & pursuit
Place: Orc Hills Cavern, Northern Wilds, a few minutes later
Further into the cave, the heroes come upon a lone orc - a deformed, muttering thing - poring over various parchments strewn about the cavern floor.

Be the PCs next:
Don Pantaloni can sense that the babbling orc is clearly mad, but with some sort of unusual intelligence about it. The elf attempts to talk to it [Skills Tests] to find out about the crab fibula, the "Faraway People," and even "the spring." Of the first, it says nothing. Of the Faraway People, it says [Story Cube: stealing] the chief stole from them, and of the spring, it says [Story Cube: magnifying glass] that they are looking at it! He is The Spring! Orsini glances at the parchment that The Spring had been examining and he recognizes at least one military map from the Merchant Prince. Don Pantaloni asks The Spring to tell them more about the Faraway People.

Be the GM once more:
The Spring laughs, shaking its misshapen body, and beckons them to follow him deeper into the cavern.

3. What elements of the results of Q1a or Q1b and Q2 suddenly get twisted together in a surprising manner, increasing the danger to the heroic motivation?

Be the GM first:
Story Cube: cauldron
Encounter: combat
Place: Orc Hills Cavern, Northern Wilds, same time
The Spring hobbles into the cavern's darkness to where he tells Don Pantaloni they can find the orc chief's treasures. In the next widening of the cave, the heroes do indeed find items related to the Sea Claws - weapons, cutlery, and shiny things - as well as the "guards" of the treasure: eight zombies leashed to stakes. The zombies wear the uniforms of the Sea Claws.

Be the PCs next: 
Orsini is horrified by the abominations of evil witchery. The heroes immediately dispatch the undead, giving final peace to the sailors who had come under the thrall of some terrible magics. Don Pantaloni asks The Spring where his chief could have ever gotten such things.

Be the GM once more:
The Spring laughs again and then his eyes roll back into his head. In a voice that sounds like one possessed of oracular vision, the deformed orc states that the zombies were stolen from [Story Cubes: hand, dancing, T-Rex fossil head] the Five Dancing Demon Kings...

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