Nelbin – gnome bard
August – human wizard
Kilia – half elf rogue/monk
Sirene – half elf cleric
Petra – human barbarian
The Sword Lords of the Dragon Scale Throne of Restov have hired us to clear bandits and explore the Stolen Lands. We travel south to Oleg’s Trading Post. Oleg has asked for help against bandits in the region, and Restov is sending troops for help.
We arrive at Oleg’s to discover it is inhabited only by Oleg Leveton and his wife, Svetlana Leveton. They tell us all they know about the bandits:
- They come once a month and demand money, and while there they steal goods.
- There is one who seems to be in charge: a woman named Kressle, a badass armed to the teeth with handaxes. Her second in command is a man named Happs.
- Bandits work for the Stag Lord… they steal this stuff because he demands tribute.
That night the bandits come (right on schedule) and we fight… Kill them all except Happs, whom we capture, strip, and put in a cage. We stable 6 horses. We also take Happs’ silver necklace with a stag’s head pendant.
Kilia tortures Happs and discovers:
- There are 50 bandits in his camp, which is called the Thorn River Camp; he shows us where it is on a map (it’s south) (Happs lied about there being fifty bandits in the River Camp as the party discovers when they attack)
- Stag Lord is the leader of all the bandits.
- Many camps in the area (a lie as the party discovers only the Stag Lord Fort and the River Camp)
- There are 4 lieutenants — Kressel is one.
Oleg is very grateful; he gives us 50 gp each, 3 potions, and tells us we are welcome to stay there whenever we want — free room & board.
We explore area around Oleg’s. Lots of prairie.
That night we are attacked by Grigs — cat-sized, 1/2 cricket 1/2 fey creatures, like a fey centaur cricket.
Next day (Hex 1)…
We’re riding through the woods, and there are bear traps everywhere. A horse gets caught in a trap and we’re attacked by something we can’t see… it shoots crossbow bolts that cause magical bleeding. We attempt to fight, to no avail — we can’t see anything! We’re getting our asses kicked, and things are looking extremely bad, but Nelbin frees the trapped horse. We heal it and retreat from the area. Whew!
The whole woods is set with bear traps occasionally… giving us trouble.
That night, we’re attacked by Thylacines, which are native to this area. We defeat them and take their pelts. Later on, we’re attacked again, this time by Mites. We manage to fight them off.
Next day (Hex 2)…
We’re exploring more woods….
We come across a 15 foot high statue covered in vegetation. It’s an image of Erastil = god of nature & community. We also notice the faint remains of a building. The statue has an aura of good. If we show respect to the statue it will grant us a favor. Our weapons glow…. they gain the Keen Edge spell effect (good for one week!).
Also, we notice that no animals seem to approach this area, so we decide it would be a safe place to camp. So we do. Pass the night without incident.
Next day (Hex 3)…
We arrive at the Skunk River Hot Springs. We explore it! Nelbin knows that this has hot spring been used for ages for medicinal purposes, so he & Sirene decide to take a dip. The rest of us decide to stay on dry land (Petra in particular is very suspicious). After awhile, a bunch of giant frogs start leaping around in the water. Petra recognizes them, and warn the party that they are very aggressive — they can grapple you with their tongues! About this time, they begin to attack us — a huge battle ensues. At one point Nelbin is swallowed by a frog, but August awesomely uses his enlarge person spell to bust Nelbin out of the frog! Nelbin nearly dies, but Sirene heals him, and he’s okay.
Next day (Hex 4)…
We encounter a fresh grave in the woods, with a stump nearby. The stump is like a headstone, with a very nice, very well-made handaxe stuck in it (Kressel’s??). Looks like someone had set a trap and it had since been sprung… The rope has been chewed through — by tiny, sharp teeth — to set it off prematurely. Kilia wants to take the axe, but we are leery and out-vote her. We leave it there.
Next day (Hex 5)…
We notice a strange nest in the trees with strange creatures flying around it. We identify these creatures: 1 Grig, 1 fairy dragon (?). Petra climbs up there and hears something growling. The tree starts to get slippery, so I make a hasty retreat back down to the ground. August then gets tangled in some animated undergrowth. Sirene deduces that someone nearby is casting spells — VERY high-level spells! We turn tail & leave! (we are chicken-shit, aren’t we?!)
That night, as we are camping…. We encounter some Kobolds. They want gold as a toll to pass through their land. We try to negotiate. When this doesn’t work, Petra succeeds in intimidating them. The tell us that they work for a certain Chief Sootscale. Just for diplomacy’s sake, we agree to pay them 5 g.p. each. They then tell us that there is a “bad hunter” in Hex #1 (no shit!); they call him “Big Hunter.” Clever, huh? The kobolds tell us that nobody likes him. He’s tricksy and mean, and he only works solo. He hides his traps, which is unlike other trappers.
Next day (Hex 6)…
In the morning we begin to head east. We encounter yet more kobolds… Five of them this time, these are lying scattered about the ground and groaning miserably. When asked, they are very defensive about some crazy radishes. Being opportunists, they agree to sell us 2 radishes for 20 g.p. Then they start going on about “Tartuk the Magnificent.” We’re not sure what they’re talking about, but we bluff them, telling them that we’ve been talking to Chief Sootscale — to which they reply “did Tartuk approve of this?” Not sure what that’s all about.
Back to Oleg’s……
We decide to head back to Oleg’s outpost. When we arrive we are surprised to note that there is a guard on duty — just one. Oleg informs us that 2 guards have been killed by snipers. Bandits have been scouting around and Oleg fears that a raid is imminent.
Svetlana is overjoyed with these radishes! She tells us that they’re like Viagra, and offers us 250 g.p. as credit. What a deal!
We meet a Kesten Garess, who is the captain of the guard sent from Restov. He & his men arrived the day we departed Oleg’s outpost. He confirms that 2 of his men have been killed by snipers; now there are only 3 left, plus himself. He also agrees that a bandit attack will happen at any moment. He also tells us he thinks we ought to go take out the bandit’s camp nearby in order to prevent this attack. Easy for him to say. He also wants us to kill Kressel while we’re at it, and is offered a mastercrafted weapon as a reward. To get a little more info on the situation, good ol’ Nelbin goes and talks to the friggin’ horses! They tell him that there are about 14 bandits at the camp, usually 7 remain at camp at any given time. Who knew horses could count?
Oleg takes this moment to inform us that to add insult to injury, the bandits have stolen Svetlana’s wedding ring. If we return it to her, he will offer us 1,0000 g.p. credit. Oh, and also…. he wants a Tatzl Wyrm head, and he’s offering 600 g.p. credit for that.
Also at the outpost is a strange dude named Jhod Kavken. He’s a traveler from the north who has sought shelter at the outpost. He’s quite mysterious; he’s scraggly and wears a great hooded cloak and carries a bow. He tells us that he’s been looking for a temple of Erastil (hmmm…. the same one we know??), because he wants to restore it. He’s had a vision… He says we must be careful at this temple because there is a guardian there who needs to be killed. Jhod is very very odd, and seems a bit guarded and solemn, but he also seems sincere.