- Alan: Caernarvon L1 Half-Elf Paladin (Desna)
- K: Aenarin L1 Half-Elf Bard
- Steve: Nikita L1 Elf Avenger (Desna)
- Tim: Ceridwen L1 Eladrin Psion
- William: Kuono L1 Minotaur Runepriest (Iomedae)
Though it took quite some time, the group was to make their first friend in the land they hoped to rule. They were strange friends, to be sure, and not overly reliable ones at that. But adventurers learn to take friends where they can find them.
22 Sarenrith 4170
The day started clear, but the clouds built through the day, and the group spent a hard afternoon slogging through the rain and mud getting a detailed map of the last area near Oleg’s. Greatly relieved to be out of the weather, they returned to the Trading Post at night, to find a trapper had also stopped by. He was a young man, by the name of Yevgeny. Aneirin tried to make friends with him, only to find that Yevgeny was as taciturn as everyone else they’d run into. When asked where he hunted, the only answer he gave was ‘South.’ Still, he was happy enough to have drinking companions, and the two put away more than a single bottle of vodka. While the hunter wouldn’t talk much of himself, he did warn the party about another hunter, by the name of Breeg, who had a tendency to trap large areas and not check them very often. He either didn’t know, or wouldn’t say, where to find Breeg, but since the drinkers were soon to become insensate, this wasn’t much of a loss.
23-26 Sarenrith 4170
The cold rain that started the previous day continued, and got worse. Thunder and lightning were now regular occurrences. Under the dark, cold sky, the party quickly passed through the plains they’d explored the previous day to seek some form of shelter in the forest. The dense pine forest was certainly foreboding in its own right, and the darkness of the day made it worse, but at least the trees were some shelter from the rain.
It’s never that easy, of course, and they found that out when Nikita triggered a bear trap, escaping with a nasty cut along her leg. The trap had clearly not been checked in some time, and the party decided they were in Breeg’s hunting ground. The traps had been sitting for a good length of time unchecked, and many had not been triggered. Nikita and Caernarvon concluded that Breeg wasn’t hunting, he was hiding something, and the traps were to discourage anyone looking too closely. So, naturally, they would look closely.
They spent days poring over this section of the forest, mapping every tree and bush they could find. They hunted rabbits, and the occasional piglet, for food, but stayed out in the woods for 4 days. The rain continued for 3 days, but finally broke on the 4th, with sunlight streaming through the pines in the afternoon. During this time, though, they became the target of some mysterious pranks. Caernarvon’s shield was painted with a red-and-white bull’s-eye while he slept. Kuono’s porridge, one morning, was switched with grass and berries, which he proceeded to eat. Ceridwen, despite his protestations that he could see perfectly fine while meditating, had his eyes painted with ash to look like a raccoon. Ceridwen realized that they were under ‘assault’ by some faeries, and the party took to leaving small offerings at night. It seemed to help, but mostly in the selection of targets.
Eventually they found an old, abandoned camp they believed belonged to Breeg. The camp had been cleaned out, packed up, and left for the better part of a month. Finally growing frustrated, they moved on.
27-28 Sarenrith 4170
With the return of the sun, the temperatures rose quickly. It finally started to feel like summer, as the temperatures rose into the mid, and then upper, 80s. Now the forest was good for shade, instead of just protection from the rain. Exploring further to the south, a branch of the Thorn River cut through the forest. While the Thorn is over 50’ across at its narrowest, it was not terribly deep at this portion, and still easily fordable.
The pranks continued apace despite the regular offerings they left, and one other encounter of some note also occurred one night. While they’d seen elk regularly, a whole herd of them came wandering through their camp while the party slept. Ceridwen was able to spot the elk in plenty of time, and the party took the simple route of climbing trees and hiding while the herd passed through. Two of the elk were the magnificent River Elk variety, standing out from the rest by their large size and impressive appearance.
Some more exploration the next day at last led them to the source of their tormentors. Two fey, a grig and a faerie dragon, had been playing with the party while they traveled. Aneirin took the lead, and tried to be friendly. Somewhat to his surprise, his overture was well received. The grig introduced herself as Tyg-Tutter-Tut, while her friend the dragon was named Perlivash. They’d thought the party were ‘bad biggies,’ but had now decided they were OK. Ceridwen gave the pair a piece of candy, which thrilled Perlivash. Tyg was soon distraught at the thought that the ‘tricky biggies’ had them owing a gift, and so she gave the group a moon radish, and was even willing to show them where there was a whole patch of them. Tyg was clearly impressed with her own ability to draw a crude map in the ground.
Aneirin followed this up, hoping to learn more about the area, and especially the kobolds who they’d found in the radish patch. In that, at least, he’d be disappointed. Tyg showed neither concern nor interest in the kobolds, except that they were mostly funny when they ate the radishes. She knew about some ‘really bad biggies’ who lived nearby and Nikita realized that Kressle was still camped in roughly the same area they’d once encountered her before. Ceridwen hoped to learn about Fangberries for Bokken, since the faeries clearly knew about the Moon Radishes, but was disappointed. Tyg disliked even thinking about Fangberries, and was emphatic that she didn’t know where to find any.
She did, however, know that there was an old temple to Erastil, who she called ‘the unfunny Old Deadeye,’ to the south. She also knew of some hot springs further west of that, and recommended to the party they seek those out. After 6 days in the woods, they were all getting a bit ripe.