Where to begin…it seems as though I have let myself become so busy with city and army work that I have not recorded our deeds in writing for a long time. I vaguely remember a circular giant cave with a very large creature that we slew. Then there was the giant creature that visited our city and proceeded to damage some of the structures before the guard drove him out of the area. We followed his trail south to a massive cave complex. Trixie, Pandora, Ookami and myself were able to kill what turned out to be a giant owlbear. While exploring the cave complex we found another dead giant owl bear along with some cubs. One of the cubs was alive so we gave it to Ookami to care for while we completed the exploration. After much searching, we found a dead human from a barbarin tribe. The device we found on his body enlarged creatures but apparently he did not know that it also caused them to go beserk. Since we found a map of our city and the trade routes through the area, the ones that had been raided recently, we can only deduce that he was an agent working against our prosperity. We will have to expend some time looking into his background and try to discover who is working against us. In an attempt to make the southern lands safer, we also took care of the giant tree creatures that were aggressively attacking anyone that came close to the mushroom patch.
It seems I have failed to mention our trip to the troll lair. I could be mistaken but I believe that was Corvaan, Ookami, Pandora and myself. We did an excellent job of remaining stealthy and were able to clear what appears to be an abandoned dwarven watchtower one room at a time. Everything went well until the boss discovered us and hit us from the back while we were engaged with a caster to the front. Pandora unleashed some powerful magics and turned the tide quickly. Once again, we found maps of the area. It is possible they were hired to disrupt our expansion. No matter, they are dead and the kingdom will profit well from our success against them.
Now on to our most recent journey. Ed, Nyet, Pandora and myself accepted the mission to venture eastward to discover why no one has heard anything from our neighbors in Varnhold. We chose the most direct path through the wilderness. The trip was uneventful. We spent the last night in an abandoned watchtower in the only pass through the mountains to our east. From here we could see the settlement in the distance. As we approached, the area seemed too quiet for a town. The first sign of life was a giant boar that charged and killed Nyets mount. We slew the beast and discussed the possibility of roasted boar for dinner. As we explored the northwest side of the river (they did not build a bridge over the river that runs through their own settlement), we discovered a brewery. Nyet tasted the product and claimed it would go quite well with roasted boar. With a couple casks still intact, we would feast well tonight. Of course the banter was to distract us form the thought of what happened to all the people who once lived here. So far, no sign at all of them or their remains.
We decided to cross the river into the heart of the town. We wanted to work towards the fortress on the hill. If anyone is left alive, they would hold up there and hope for relief. The river ford was deep, up to four feet. It was at this depth that a giant lobster, octopus creature who had somehow remained concealed in this shallow water erupted through the surface and grabbed me with a claw. I broke free only to be grabbed again. Seeing it was pointless to try and escape, I just hacked at the claw. It then moved me to its tentacles and luckily it died before we found out what would happen to me next.
The first building on the right of the road appeared to be a stable. It had the carcasses of horses littering the stable area with crows feasting on the remains. As I approached the building, they swarmed me. One must have raked my eyes because I lost vision. Luckily, I fumbled to the door of the building and was able to shut myself inside. The group drove off the crows but my eyesight did not return. The story from here is best told by one who could see what transpired. I was ready to leave. I went along with the group as they headed to the fortress. They said they saw the smoke from a campfire up there and wanted to investigate. The result was a battle with some creatures who appear short but can grow to giant size. I remember standing against one at the gate and then being led out of harms way as boulders and crossbow bolts came our direction from the blockhouse. Trusting Pandora, I let myself be led to the blockhouse where my lack of vision would not be such a disability. Unfortunately, I fell in a pit along the way. Ed the caster threw me a rope and told me to wait while he did something to conceal me from the bowmen in the block house. It was a frantic ride to the river with bolts and boulders raining down upon us but we made it. We spent the night in the abandoned watchtower. The next day when my vision still did not return, we ventured back to Stagholme.