With spring almost over, the party began the session by heading back to Isca’s Hold. They reprovisioned and prepared to head out west again, to map more along the foothills. Rumours were abound of another unicorn being spotted and killed by what appeared to be zealots of Caer Twyn by merchants who had been heading in from the north. What were they up to?
The party left the Hold and made their way northwest to the tree that they had found many days previous. A map in the hands of a dead brigand had shown an “X” at the tree, and the party was excited at the prospect of some loot to plunder.
Alas when they got there, someone else had gotten to the stash already. A hole was at the base of the tree, and the druid was able to pick up tracks heading towards the mountain. They were humanoid, and several days old. Like a bloodhound, the party was off across the wilds in pursuit of the thief that had pilfered the stash.
The trail was lost several times before the party finally emerged at a river roaring from the mountains. The remains of a bridge crossed the river… a single rope. The party anxiously looked out at the dangerous crossing, when a rotten figure emerged from the river.
In a wheezing voice, it proclaimed that the party was not that which tormented him and then bade them to throw the Flame Lord’s body into the river. Several attempts were made to talk with the dead creature, but it just simply stood there on the water wheezing. Unnerved, the party took their leave and headed back the way they came, saddened that they lost the trail of their quarry.
They spent the next week mapping the western cooridor out, coming across an elven merchant who was hauling a pair of dead trolls to Isca’s Hold to sell to the potion maker.
At the summer solstice, the party entered the forests once again near where the bandit encampment had been encountered. The forest here was swampy and rain had moved in. While it was warm out, the rains made everything damp and cloying and the mud sucked at the party’s boots.
Near a barrow cairn, the party encountered four armored men bearing the heraldry of Caer Twyn. Xavkul Mankin bade them drink with him, but other then that the men were tight lipped. Paikea Star wanted to rid the land of their presence, but
Kris IV and Soreon Silvermane Sorben talked her out of that.
Mapping the forest was a lot slower going than the flat plains of the west, and the party ended up tangling with another boar. This creature was a fierce monster of a pig, but it was felled a lot faster than the three boars that had gutted the party a few weeks prior. Paikea and the druid were both injured in the fight.
Stinking of the bog, the party made their way east to drier land. They came across a ruined stone house, from which a boggard emerged. The boggard was annoyed that the party was trespassing in his “kingdom” and bade them go away, particularly at the half-orc who reeked of swamp gas.
Not wanting to cause trouble, the party left the boggard in piece, looping around the house and eventually exiting the forest. The swamp lands of the east near Caer Twyn could be seen here, and as this was outside of the charter, they swung to the south and managed to map out the scrubland on the eastern border before turning back to the forest.
Near the edge of the forest, they got their first look at a Tatzylwyrm. Not much is known about these creatures, but the druid was able to explain after the encounter that they are relations to dragons. The Tatzylwyrm was not much of a fight for the companions, and its head was lopped off by Soreon and will make a fine trophy at the Hold when the party returns.
They found the source of a hot spring and finally had an opportunity for a nice bath. Alas, three giant frogs had made the spring their home and they splashed into the pool after them.
Giant frogs are fairly easy to run off, for they are not very courageous creatures, nor are they particularly tough. They do however possess a long sticky tongue and a wide gaping mouth, and the half-orc was swallowed by one of the creatures.
Fortunately, the remainder of the party was able to kill the frog and gut it before any lasting damage could be done, but Xavkul’s face will bear the marks of stomach acid for some time. A drinking story for sure!
The party ended the session heading back west through the forest, recovering from their battle with the frogs.