The word from Hanz and Scratch was that Mr. Rudiger was accusing me of being a horse thief (and that they were tasked with investigating Alexei and me). In an attempt to ‘cover my tracks’, we decided to burn down my house – I wasn’t getting much use out of it anyway (with it being guarded by orcs).
Hanz cooked up some sort of fire-starting fluid that Alexei and I took to the house. We were going to set up a trap such that opening the door would start the fire. The fire started sooner than expected, due to some klutziness on my part – Hanz’s potion was certainly effective. In any case, the fire did serve as a distraction for the orc guard. I snuck around behind the house to get some water out of the well – in order to save some trees if possible. When I returned, the orc had attacked Alexei. I traded arrows with the orc (I was using orcine arrows to make things look more interesting). Alexei finished the orc off with a knife. The fire was growing so we soon returned to the cave.
After Hanz and Scratch returned from their investigation, they reported that the fire had indeed destroyed the house and much of the surrounding forest – pity about the trees, although some tree seeds need fire to start growing – the cycle of life continues in spite of our follies. The intrepid investigators had in fact walked into the fire to confirm the status of the house.
The Rudiger situation is getting more complex – apparently he has been querying Scratch about the Redd Orcs – we’re not exactly sure what Rudiger’s game is here. Perhaps there is some way to connect Rudiger with Alexei… ?