The trackers encountered a witch-man, along with four archers, who again warned them not to interfere with the theft. Their chieftain had commanded them, however, and the trackers leapt again into battle, swiftly striking down the witch and his bowmen before racing on, and finally catching up to the thief.
Across a stretch of frozen ground, atop a small mesa, stood five ogres and a bound orc. The largest ogre had the cartouche secured to his back. Surrounding the ogres and their prisoner, however, were dozens of ice-covered undead, a frozen horde that was also now approaching the trackers’ position. The Hellhawk and Red-Eyes raced forward, dodging through the crush of frozen, rotten flesh in pursuit of their quarry, while the other three companions battled madly to stave off the undead. Grogburner was laid low after hewing through many of the creatures, but Beastmaster, in an uncharacteristic show of compassion, reached him with her healer’s kit to stabilize him. Manbreaker was brought down next, but the Hellhawk darted back through the swarm and galvanized the brute back into action. Beastmaster gave instructions to give chase to the thief- who was straining to break free of his bonds- and then headed off herself,
The ogres were being brought down, one by one, by the swarm of undead, despite crushing many of them underfoot and with their huge weapons. The thief finally snapped his bonds, two of the Hellhawk’s arrows embedded in his shoulder and chest, retrieved the cartouche, and clasped the cloak he wore, disappearing in a puff of smoke to reappear atop a tall cliff nearby. Red-Eyes and the Hellhawk reached the ogres at the same moment, and were able to convince the dim-witted creatures to fling them up the cliff in pursuit, where they both began scrabbling up the cliff. Reaching the top, Hellhawk swiftly loosed another arrow at the thief, who raced back to finish off his pursuers. The Hellhawk was nearly smashed by the swinging cartouche, and Red-Eyes, reaching the top, received nothing but a boot to the chest for his troubles, which sent him tumbling down the cliff.
Manbreaker, meanwhile, following Beastmaster’s instructions, had been hauling himself up the cliff at an impressive speed, and reached the top just as Red-Eyes took his fall. The huge orc pulled himself over the top of the cliff, lumbered around behind the thief, and threw his shoulder into the coward’s back, sending him flying into empty space as well. The cartouche landed in the snow, and the thief’s broken body landed, unmoving, next to Red-Eyes’ groaning form. The trackers gave their thanks to the leader of the ogres- the only one of the creatures still standing- and then quickly started back towards the Akhar camp, to deliver the cartouche, and news of their victory.