The second stage of our exploration for Trixie, Yuri, Ookami, Pandora and myself began after a brief respite at Oleg’s. We wrapped up the business with Bokken, Svetlana’s Ring, Tuskgutter and the Kobolds. The first day out we visited Tyg and Perli and they gave us some ideas where to find Tatzlwyrms. After leaving the two tricksters, we encountered a strange creature on the path. It was similar to a slug in that it left a slime trail but it looked more reptilian with some hardening on its back. I have no name for this beast. Name or not, we killed it and moved on. At first we followed it’s trail seeking a lair but when it became apparent that it had traveled far and probably didn’t have a lair, we moved on.
We moved northwest into a wooded area. Pandora skillfully discovered the first animal trap on the path. Good thing the horse noticed it or it would have lost a leg. The trap is big enough to hold a bear. We spent the next two days disabling as many traps as we could find. Many were on paths so that both animals and humans were possible victims. We left the traps in the woods rather than carry them with us. In total, we disabled fourteen traps.
We spent the next few days moving west. It was mainly on plains and uneventful. The most excitement we found was at a blackberry bush. Trixie noticed a pile of rocks under some bushes. We believe it to be an ancient burial mound. We did not disturb it but we did clear away some bushes.
We moved southeast from the burial mound and then moved eastward back into forest. We discovered a body. It appears as though he was building some sort of log roll trap and fell victim to his own work. The logs had rolled him into the river while crushing him. It is possible this is the trapper that Tyg and Perli talked about. They claimed to have set off one of his traps and killed the trapper. Not having any longer need for his axe, I took it. It should be easier to remove the heads of wanted creatures with the axe than my sword.
Continuing eastward, we encountered another river. This one smells of sulfur. Oleg says that this river originates from a hot spring so that could account for the smell. The water must be rich with nutrients because we saw two frogs that were massive. They must have been six feet long and four feet tall. They seemed peaceful enough so we let them be.
We reversed direction and moved southwest, continuing to zigzag through the exploration area. We came across a large statue. We can’t be positive but we believe it is of Erastil. We will have to bring Corvaan here to determine if it is a shrine to his god. The statue was 15 feet high and well worn by time. Oddly for a nature deity, the area was eerily quiet.
The traveling slowed a bit as the area we were moving into was both forested and boggy. The insects were thick and annoying when we came to an opening and made a sad discovery. The body of a unicorn lay there. The body is still in excellent condition, untouched by carrion eaters or insects. It looks like the unicorn was blinded before death and then slain. Considering the condition of the body, I suspect magic to be the killing tool. Who or whatever did this broke off the unicorns horn and took it with them. I will keep my eyes open for the horn and creature carrying it.
As if the dead unicorn wasn’t bad enough, I was attacked that night while we camped. A strange blue light appeared next to me. It had what looked like a skull inside and floated upon the air. When it touched me it hurt. I awoke the ladies and we fought the bouncing blue globe of pain. I might as well have been blind for all the good I was doing. I was near death, and yet to hurt it when a strange thing happened. I think I saw it but I won’t say as it may have been a near death vision. But a swarm of spiders came from near Pandora and covered the ball of light. That seemed to give me motivation to actually hit the thing and it dissolved into nothing. While wondering what to do about the spiders, after all I seem to attract poisoned creatures, they orderly marched into the woods. Poison spiders are bad enough, but ones that work together like that will probably double my need for vodka.
The next day brought us out of the marshy area and back to the river fed by the hot spring. We found a good spot to cross. It appears to have been a river dock or bridge at some point in the past as there was much rubble. I led the way across to the sand bars in the middle. I appear to have been the perfect bait for Tatzlwyrms as one emerged form the water next to me. The fight was short with the help of Trixie and Ookami’s new longbow. Just as the first one fell, another erupted from the water behind Trixie. It did not last much longer than the first wyrm. We took both heads so that Oleg would have his choice of which one to use for decoration. We also found the remains of a dead explorer. He had a map with him of where he had traveled. It did not open up any new areas for us but the waterproof case will be helpful. He had some personal items that we will sell off as well as enchanted scale armor and a very nice cold steel longsword. Hopefully, the sword and armor will serve us better than they did for him.
The last couple of areas to explore were both forest. We came across a pit trap in one. It had trapped a scared wolf creature. I gracefully entered the pit. I will have to work on my landings because I seem to have hurt my leg. Trixie decided to join me. The wolf was not impressed and began trying to bite me. So, I subdued him. Pandora was kind enough to supply a rope and use a horse to pull me out along with the wolf creature. We left the pit uncovered so that it will be easier to avoid for both humans and animals.
The last area introduced us to the first Boggard that I have seen. His name was Garuum. He was trying to improve the condition of two old stone buildings. He said that he lived in one and his pet lived in the other. We never did see the pet. He mainly wanted to be left alone. Trixie offered assistance with this work. Garuum was tentative and seemed to have little interest in company or help. I left wanting to know what kind of pet he has occupying the bigger building. On the road back to Oleg’s we encountered another giant centipede. This time we surprised it. It died before it had a chance to poison me or anyone else.