On the trail of the Deck of Many Things, the party returns to the Material Plane and heads to Winterfell, the nearest settlement to Gardmore Abbey. Once there, they visit the local lord, Lord Padraig for any news of the area. They find that Duke Stendahl has recently expanded his holdings to encompass Winterhaven, though beyond sending a small contingent of troops, he has not exerted any other control over the land.
Lord Padraig entreats the group to investigate and clear out the Orcs from Gardmore Abbey, as they have been a constant problem for Winterhaven who lacks the troops to take care of the problem themselves. Wolfram readily accepts the task, and freshly supplied, they journey to the Abbey.
Outside the Abbey, they meet Sir Oakley, a paladin of Bahamut who wishes to cleanse the Abbey of all the unnaturals who have taken up residence. He offers to help the group with any other task they may have in the Abbey and joins the party.
Approaching the main gate and finding it wide open, Lucyan creeps closer to see what awaits in the gatehouse while Swain lays down a cover of darkness so the rest can approach. Inside, they find a group of orcs with an ogre who they readily dispatch.
Now inside the Abbey, the group heads to the village at the base of the hill. Oakley warns that it is full of orcs who have settled in the ruins. Deciding to use guile over force, Lucyan disguises himself as an avatar of death, and with the aid of Swain’s magic, manages to scare away the vast majority of the orcs. Those that run for the gate meet a swift end courtesy of the von Graff brothers, while those that run up to the Abbey grounds disappear into the buildings there, never to be seen again.
When the party reunites in the town square, they are greeted by a group of rival adventurers. Lead by a female warrior, they engage in a verbal sparring match. The rivals are at the Abbey to clean out the orcs and deny their employer of being Duke Stendhal. Swain sends his familiar to watch the other group as the party climbs the hill up to the Abbey grounds.
At the Heroes’ Gate, they are beset by two rust monsters and a rage drake. When Lucyan attempts to destroy one, he finds his spiked chain completely destroyed. Lacking a weapon, he manages to launch himself atop the rage drake and calm the mad beast. As his friends destroy the monsters left, he brings the rage drake to heel, gaining a new mount and ally.