After arriving at Oleg’s around midnight on the previous day, we decided to spend a day resting and taking care of business before heading back to the wilds. Trixie had returned to the trading post and so had Yuri. I think I may still be suffering some affects of the disease because I could have sworn her name was Gran Ibo. To make matters worse, I can’t for the life of me recall the names of the dwarf or the summoner. Either I need a drink or some rest, think I’ll try both today. One thing I do know, the Swordlords have sent word that they will award us 5000 gold and a plot of land (our choice of land within the GreenBelt) if we can send proof of removing the Stag Lord from the area.
We headed out towards the west. Trixie, Yuri, Ookami, Pandora and myself took on this next stage of exploration. The boys up north would certainly invent some stories about me if they found out I was about to spend a couple weeks in the wild with four women. Lucky for me, they were good at patching up my wounds.
On the second day out from Oleg’s, we encountered a couple of strange creatures that lived in large nests in the trees. One is a very small mixture of elf and grasshopper named Tyg. I can’t explain her any better than that because Trixie is the only person who saw Tyg. Apparently, Tyg can turn invisible for quite some time. Her friend Perlivash, the pseudo dragon, was less shy. He flew down and tasted some beer and candied fruit. While they are pranksters, they do know this area of woods and were able to warn us of the animal traps in the area.
We traveled away from Tyg and Perlivash so that we could have a quiet nights sleep. The plan almost worked. Unfortunately, an Owl Bear decided to pay us a visit in the dark of the night. I remember most of the fight, especially the parts where one of the women was bending over me finishing up some sort of healing magic. I think I only lost consciousness twice before we were able to slay the beast. At least he didn’t seem to have any poison, we’ll have to wait to see if I have a new disease.
After a couple more days, we came across the lost temple that Jhod had described. There is a bear but it does not act like a bear. It seems to be guarding the entrance to the cave by pacing back and forth in front of it. We decided to wait until Corvaan was available before trying to enter the temple and interact with the bear.
Our last day in the woods on this first stage of exploration brought us to Tuskgutter. I had expected a good sized wild boar but he is more than that. He almost killed my horse with his first attack. It took some time to bring the beast down. Yuri had me plant a spear in anticipation of a charge and that was the final blow to the boar. One more “job” completed and some tasty pork for dinner.
We next entered the hills as we worked our way southeast. Around noon, we came across a patch of very thick thorns. On these thorn bushes were berries, alas we found the Fangberries. I spent some time delicately picking berries and making little progress when Ookami, apparently not wanting to wait all day to complete the task, simply walked into the tangled mess and came out with all the berries we needed. We will have to make a side trip to Bocken when we return to Oleg’s.
After crossing the river and moving eastward, we came across the Kobolds. Their lair was marked with a cage containing a captured Mite and a sign indicating that the cave was once the “ Oaktop Silver Mine”. Trixie and Yuri went forward and conversed with the kobold on guard. They returned asking for the statue we had taken form the mite lair. That statue was stolen from the kobolds and serves as a religious symbol that the shaman wants returned. They will be willing to discuss peace and Svetlana’s ring in exchange for the statue. Pandora, Ookami and I remained outside while Trixie and Yuri went inside to complete the deal. It was all quiet until Yuri came running and screaming out of the cave. The shaman had betrayed the deal, attacked them and ordered the kobolds to kill them. The shaman holds the power of a curse over the rest of the kobolds, including the chief. We arrived just in time as Trixie was down and it looked as though they were about to finish her. The shaman dealt damage from a wand and made my head spin with multiple images floating around himself. It was close as we were all hurting when the shaman, hurt himself, fled. We tried a brief pursuit but he escaped out the back entrance. The chief had to protect the shaman from us because of the curse but because he wants to be rid of the shaman, he helped put us on the shamans escape route. He said the kobolds would be friendly as long as the shaman did not return to control the tribe. He even let us look through the loot they had taken from the mites and gave us Svetlana’s ring.
Turns out, we translated a book that was found in the shamans chamber, that he is really a gnome. It really was an interesting story that is best told over a drink. Short version, he was reincarnated with the bad luck of changing to a kobold, he hates his life and will probably go look for another kobold tribe to destroy rather than come back and risk death at our hands.
Our plans to complete the search of the southeastern areas were cut a little short as we were concerned about the condition of the boars head and the Fangberries. So we explored one last area with a dilapidated river crossing and headed back to Oleg’s. After all, we had four “jobs” to submit and complete. The trip back took two days and proved to be an easy ride. I’ll write about our western explorations once I’ve had a drink or two.
We later learned of a rumor about the river crossing we noticed at the end of our southeastern trip. It is believed that bandits ruined the crossing and killed the keeper. Some people believe that the place is now haunted by the spirit of Davick Nettles, the keeper.