Also, because so many people are coming and going over the course of this campaign even a after only a few updates, I can't help thinking a list of dramatis personae is in order.
Rolf Ironhead - male Dwarf
Lady Malice De Vine - female Thief
Timmy Song - male Halfling (sitting this one out)
Del Diablo - male Thief
Guy - male Fighter (NPC)
Halca - female Fighter (NPC)
Raul Derdué - male Fighter (NPC)
Tal - male NM (NPC) (not in this game)
Grig - male NM (NPC) (not in this game)
Werix - male NM (NPC) (not in this game)
These last three are usually called 'the torch-bearers'.
During the course of play, the party was also joined by -
Miguel - male Cleric
So, thinking back...
The party - or most of it, Timmy's player wasn't with us so we said that he stayed behind with sthe torch-bearerss, sleeping off his mushroom-hangover - set out of the Old Mill, and ran into Miguel, the ex-apprentice who had been working there. He told them the Old Mill had been attacked by hideous humanoids some days before. He had fled, but had been stalking the humanoids (the party assumed he meant the Orcs they'd previously run into) since the attack.
He'd found out that they kept trying to get into a cave behind a waterfall about 5 miles to the north, but something had been driving them back. He thought that perhaps they'd recently been driven out, and that was what had led them to attack the Old Mill.
This next portion of the adventure was created through the process that I outlined in Naked Gaming part 3. It consisted of a list of random encounters, somewhat multi-layered in scope. Basically, the longer the party faffed about, the more encounters they would have on their way to the caves. I had a list of 20 - in the end I used 4 of them, as the party was relatively quick about getting its act together. One was an encounter with Orcs - some of those driven from the caves. Another involved some Goblins. The presence of these little critters was unexplained, but may become clear later. They were chasing another monster from the list - some of the random encounter notes from Seventh Order detailed interaction with another monster, usually fighting or fleeing from them. When a second monster was called for, I rolled again on the table to find the other. In this case, the original encounter was with a Dryad, fleeing from something; when I rolled again, I came up with 6 Goblins. Both of these encounters involved fighting; the other two, with a wolf in a stand-off with (smallish) giant spiders ('Small Monstrous Spiders' is how they were described in the WotC dungeon generation, a description which is going to bother me, I can see), and with a swarm of spiders who really just wanted to go to sleep, were bypassed through good scouting and some quick thinking.
The Orcs were something of a problem; they were alert and meant business. But then so were the party. Lady Malice was scouting up the road, when she saw two Orcs further up; they turned and ran. Lady Malice did the same. A quick plan was hatched; the party would occupy the ground on the opposite side of the road to the river, and trap the Orcs between the two. Rolf, Guy and Helca took the centre, while Miguel hid behind Rolf. The two Thieves took up flanking positions, with Raul Derdué (who didn't have a missile weapon) close by.
In the end, the Orcs were over-cautious; they split their forces, sending the two that had been seen down the road, and the other three crept through the woods. But they got too far apart, allowing the party to dispose of the first pair before routing the remaining trio. Lady Malice looted the bodies and took the ears, and Raul armed himself with a scimitar and shield from the Orcs.
The encounters with the spiders and wolf, and then with the spider swarm, followed. The first was simply bypassed. The party is collecting ears, and spiders don't have them. They did wonder about legs, but quickly decided that the whole affair was too much trouble. They melted back into the woods leaving the spiders and wolf to their dance.
The spider-swarm caused more consternation. The trees on both sides of the road were full of spiders (not giant this time, but the party had no way of knowing how dangerous they would be). My notes said that the spiders were about to sleep; when the party lit torches the spiders scuttled round the other sides of the trees, and the party made their escape, always going north.
The last of the encounters, with the Dryad (the original result I had said 'Nymph' but Dryad seemed the best match from the rules I had access to) and the Goblins, was the most dangerous. Rolf was really unhappy about the rescue of a 'beautiful Elfin-looking female' but his hatred of Goblins is even greater than his antipathy towards Elves and their kin. Del Diablo, however, was very concerned to rescue the pretty lady.
The fight with the Goblins was brutal and pretty swift. While Lady Malice took their ears, Del Diablo tried to comfort the beautiful lady with the soft voice and very nice eyes. The rest of the party, realising that the Dryad had put some sort of Charm on him (though Del's player was doing his best to charm her before the spell), took it in turns to slap him and otherwise get through to him that he might be in danger. It was, however, when Rolf began talking about the variety of iron weapons available to the party, that this fey creature became distracted enough to allow her control to slip.
After this encounter, the party made it to the waterfall where Miguel said the caves were, and the party decided that was a good time to draw a halt.