The time is about 3 weeks after the end of the previous adventure.
The Orcs are getting braver every day. They've been attacking villages and outposts at the edge of civilization. Refugees are streaming into Restenford.
The Colonel of the Restenford Regiment decided to put an end to the Orcs' reign of terror by himself (perhaps to gain all the glory). He took his first battalion (5 companies) and 3 companies of his third battalion (>50% of the regiment), and marched out of Restenford ten days ago. Three days ago a few bedraggled survivors returned. The force was (all but) wiped out.
This disaster leaves the second battalion of the ninth regular regiment (5 companies) and remaining 2 companies of the third battalion of the Restenford regiment to defend the town. The rest of the Restenford regiment (5 companies of the second battalion) is scattered in garrisons at key points near the edge of civilization. It is unknown if they will be able to join in the defense of the town. For that matter, some of them may have already been overrun.
The Count has published a decree that all able-bodied men are subject to "emergency service". The town council has started to form militia companies. In some of the seedier bars, "recruiters" have been taking liberties with the rule of law and "enlisting" people with the help of drugs and/or clubs (never at Mom's :-).
Unnatural things are happening in the Clerics' quarter. There have been explosions and even a minor earthquake. The rumor is that they are having trouble with the Talisman of Set. They can't even send it over the sea (when they tried to take it aboard a ship, mysterious fires broke out).
Things look grim.