From what I've heard up and coming plans are: 1. Find Mericles tutors - worth a try but not holding my breath on this one. 2. Move seed pod - As Mericle's diary says, humans can't reap them but orcs can, so unless we can convince/trick/catch red handed an orc to do this for us... 3. Spy on Mericles - can do but the mask's fool the orcs lets not get complacent thinking they will also fool Mericles. 4. Blow up mine - unless Mericles is in the mine at the time I dont see the threat negated only postponed. Although orcs are amassing there and no doubt creating a stock of weapons we have repelled invasions in the past and they are a known quantity, I'd prefer to concentrate on the unknown, the seed pods. 5. Question the royal alchemist - if he's a traitor then he's not going to tell us and if he has been set up he may question the king and look where that got Nathan. Observations :The tunnels in the secret cave are blocked by stacks of hay. There is a flour making machine in the cave. Question :Are the two connected or is the fact that luminscent fungi is sitting next to the machine mean that the fungi is simply being ground down to form the dark liquid. If 'flour' is a clue then that suggests the seed pods could be something that the orcs ingest (bread). In any event I would rather find a way around the stacks (blow up?) to continue further down the tunnels. I'll leave the royal decree to more knowledgable people to discuss.