Some general info about your surroundings right now - behind you is the the woods. They stretch on for many, many, many miles. The Hruesen river runs North to South (flow is southward). The Blacktooth Ridge (and thus the Vargolg) is on the Eastern shore. You just crossed over to the Western shore. In most places the river is about 60' or so across and fairly deep - just not at the ford you just crossed. The village of Botkinburg is a day and a half north of you on the western shore.
The party came down stream on the eastern shore - the side the Vargolg is on. Thus nobody in the original party knows much about what is on this side (meaning the western shore you are on.) of the river. You know the woods stretches for miles. You know that about 8-10 hours travel North you will get to the bridge you originally used to cross the river. From that bridge a road did go South on the western shore, but it turned into the woods and did not stick with the river. You never saw evidence of any type of path on the far side of the river as you came South. All you know is that the barren woods strech out beyond the river.
Gerdar - You traveled northward along the eastern side of the river (Again, the side the Vargolg is on.). That side was very rough and rugged. You have not been on the western shore where you now find yourself. You know nothing of the woods over here beyond the name "the barren woods."
Uthal - Your original journey southward was on the Eastern shore of the river - along the ridge. But you crossed over to the Western shore at the bridge mentioned above. That means you did travel southward along the river on the side the group now finds itself on. There was no road or easy path. You did find animal paths here and there and quite possibly some paths used by humanoids like the goblins and others the group was fighting. But there was no clear path leaving the ford. However, you could lead them back up stream the way you came reasonably easily. Going South or straight back into the woods are directions you have not been before, but based on your prior experiences you don't see any reason you couldn't move through the woods.
Overall the woods are passable - but not quickly.
One more wrinkle. You got to the Vargolg at sundown. You tried to smoke them out for about 20 minutes and have then been engaged in a battle for a bit. It is now dark. Although it rained a lot last night, the sky is now clear and therer is a crescent moon which provides some light. But the woods are very dark. Visibility is a bit easier staying near the river, but of course that works for or against you. Many of you have dark vision, but I'm not sure everyone does.
Dok - I don't know off hand what spells you have used. You would probably need to go back and double check your old posts. I will try to do so, but haven't had time just yet.
I will look at trying to do a picture, but the site that allowed that went down awhile ago so I'm not sure how much luck I will have. Assume it won't happen and celebrate if it does.
Or perhaps some variations therin? Also, if you are staying along the river - how close to the edge? The closer you are the easier it is to keep track of and to see the other side. But it is also easier to be seen. Pass without a trace makes you untrackable. It gives huge benefits to stealth, but does not make people invisible.
To the rest of you - if you follow Uthal are you making any attempt at stealth? Stealth slows you down, but obviously make syou harder to spot. The spell provides a +10 to stealth which makes you very stealthy but a dwarf in plate can still make some noise and trip.
Nomad - Uthal was suggesting heading "Striaght back - Directly into the woods". I think that is west? It seems some of the group are still injured and it might be worth finding a place for them to regroup. Uthal can help with some healing if someone is dire. If they are still being pursued then the spell may help. If not, then it is probably a waste of a slot.
Hornet would vote for straight into the woods using stealth and the spell until we find a spot that is suitable for a long rest. Hornet will take trail in marching order to make sure we are not followed.
I was beginning to think we'd never get out alive! Lol.
I wonder if Boris the otter is nearby? Maybe he could help find us a safe place to make camp while we rest and heal our wounds? If not, then perhaps we could find a cave. We're on a mountain, right? Has to be one somewhere.
A long rest is in order for sure. That would restore all our hot points in 5ed rules. I would be ok with a cave if we find one. Or we could turn and go up river for an hour or so and just make a camp. Unlikely Boris is far from the river. Let's post ideas and discuss them here. Anyone who wants to do introductions or such go ahead and post in the game thread.