Decided to investigate this new orc threat (Urukhai mod) and not far from the Western Watchtower I found my first group. There were only three or four of them, fighting bandits, a pair of mages, and an ancient dragon; and they were tough as NAILS. Maeci made the mistake of trying to duel one and she was soon impaled right through one one of their wicked blades. I summoned Odahviing to the chaos and the fight ended up near Fort Greymoor where the Stormcloak guardsmen came to my aid. Many of them died in the combat but we managed to kill all the orcs. Worse was their "leader", a strange cloaked figure called a Black Swan. One shot from her bow would kill me instantly, so (after a few reloads) I decided instead to sneak up right behind her and backstab her to death. Turns out she wasn't even an orc, but a redguard!?
Who knew ballerinas were so deadly?
A second Black Swan soon appeared and out of nowhere the kid from Falkreath, Chelsea came running - firing back at my foe. I was also surprised to learn she could use basic Thuum! Between the two of us we killed the next sniper as well as a random Nightingale Assassin who appeared shortly after. Damn that Brynjolf. Looks like he escaped the guards afterall. Anyway, we reported back at Riverwood and agreed that what I had just spend 20-30 minutes fighting was a scouting party. Holy hell. I got Lighting and the cleric Aluna to go to Fort Greymoor with the remaining soldiers because we were going to need them. I tried to get Chelsea to stay there too but she stubbornly refused so together we went off to scout the plains for more orcs, and it wasn't long before we found their camp, South of Rorikstead. There were maybe 8-12 of them here in a tight group.
According to plan, we opened fire from far and began sprinting back to the Fort. Didn't realize their dual wielding beserkers could run faster though and for all her shouting Chelsea was soon cut down by the rampaging mob leaving me to sprint away from them all on my lonesome. I tried calling Odhaviing again to cover my back but for the first time he didn't show. Through stamina potions I finally made it back to the Fort which was by chance being reinforced by a wandering dunmer named Talon Dreth and his mercenaries. Almost immediately my pursuers arrived and the battle began in earnest with everyone engaging the orsimer forces, but they were just way too strong. The guards and the mercenaries were cut down, as was Lighting whose throat was cut on the stairs. The cleric Aluna tried to flee to Whiterun but she was mobbed before getting very far. Maybe only one or two of the orcs had fallen.
Being the last one left I lured the mob up into the parapets then jumped the wall, giving me a head start run. I actually did manage to kill a few more of them because they were quite injured from the battle - even beheading one that strayed too far ahead of his buddies, but I was still falling back. Back to Whiterun - where the guards wanted me dead. No choice though since these enemies were simply too powerful. I was in for a surprise when I reached those gates though - the guards and orcs ALLIED against ME and didn't fight each other AT ALL! What the HELL? I got myself out of there quickly, trying again in vain to summon Odahviing. I did ice a few more of the orcs though but at least half their number remained as I hid in the distant hills until they got tired of looking for me. While there it suddenly clicked. The orcs and Jarl Bossman were in league with each other, that's why the two forces were so friendly. Angrier than ever, I marched back towards Whiterun - it was time to get some answers.