Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Aeric's Journal #3

Aeric Lebeda’s Journal Entry 3, for the 10th (Starday) of Sarenith of the year 4708.

Our group has returned back to Oleg’s trading post this day after doing some much needed exploration and mapping of the surrounding area.

We left on the 1st after dealing with the bandits attack. Tomaz declared that he was much too unwell to travel with us, after all, he was run over by a couple of horses. Personally I think it more likely that he decided not to come with us as staying at Oleg’s provided him with easier access to alcohol and Svetlana, Oleg’s wife.

We decided to forge our way southeast, as our intent was to end the threat posed by the kobold tribe the Sootscales. During our travels we encountered the remains of what we believe was a farmer who had fallen victim to a bear trap. He left a journal indicating that his wife was Elena. We buried him and Maladan lead us in a short prayer to Erastil to grant this poor soul peace. We also resolved to do our best to inform Elena of her husband’s passing.

On our journey, we also uncovered a small field of bones, of not just humans but of wild creatures as well. As we investigated a spider leapt out of from a cleverly disguised mound and bit Anna. Maddened by the poison Anna leapt to the attack and would not retreat with us. With some reluctance we engaged the spider, eventually burning it in its hole. Unfortunately one of my bombs went slightly amiss and also burned Anna. Jonah was quite visibly upset by this and accused me of doing it deliberately. It even looked as if Jonah was getting ready to attack me. In the end he spit on me. I was so taken aback by his behaviour that I could not even formulate a defence for myself other than it was an accident. In hindsight this was probably a good thing, as if I had responded it might have been along the lines that ‘if I had wanted to burn Anna then she would be burned and with her goddess’… probably not something that would endear me with Jonah. I’m at a loss about that boy.

We excavated the mound, in part because I was curious if I could use some of the spider’s own venom to create an antidote for Anna. Unfortunately it seems my skills were lacking for the task. However, I did take some detailed sketches of the spider in case we encounter them again. Underneath the spider, we discovered some more human remains. It appears that it was another bandit. This one had what we presume to be a small treasure map. We have decided to keep an eye out for a tree that looks like a clawed hand reaching to the sky. As we decided to bury all the bones of the victims of this spider, Jonah went off hunting. He came back with 3 rabbits and cooked them, he was very insistent that the rabbits were for himself, Anna and Maladan. I’m seriously considering taking this boy over my knee and giving him a good spanking, but I fear that while that might bring understanding to a normal child, Jonah is anything but.

The next day as we continued our journey to the southeast, we found the tree or what we believed to be the tree that was on the treasure map. After some searching we found some recently dug up ground. Working our way down we discovered a set of belongings wrapped in an almost useless cloak. A wand, a shiny dagger and what we assume is a water damaged spellbook. The next day, I was able to determine that the wand was magical. It eventually turned out to be a wand of burning hands. As we continued our journey to the southeast we came across a river, travelling along it we were unable to find any decent crossing sites, although we did find a place called Nettle’s Crossing, but the bridge was in serious disrepair, and the building on the opposite shore was burnt out.

Pushing west as the river blocked further exploration to the south, we found a huge dying tree. Maladan and Jonah decided to go up and investigate. They found all sorts of tiny humanoid footprints. We determined that kobolds and mites made the tracks. Not knowing which lair this was we cautiously entered. Jonah made a bellowing challenge to the mites that he was here to punish them for being allies with the Dark Queen. He was then attacked out of the darkness, and he replied with a fiery vengeance using the wand we had found earlier. It was then all I could do to keep up with him as Jonah moved rapidly after any noises that the mites made. In the next open chamber a number of mites moved to attack Jonah but he was too quick for them and incinerated them with the wand.

We also discovered several kobolds being tortured by the mites. Anna released the only one still alive and healed his wounds. His name was Nicknack or some such. Jonah quickly questioned him if he was allied with the Dark Queen. I quickly interceded by informing Jonah, the if he worked with the Dark Queen then he wouldn’t be getting tortured by her minions. Jonah seemed to accept my logic with the idea of an enemy of my enemy is my friend. It seems that the mites had stolen a sacred statue belonging to the kobolds, and this kobold and his group had come here to try and steal it back. We agreed to help him ‘rescue’ his sacred statue.

However the burning of the other mites seemed to have calmed Jonah’s bloodlust to allow Anna to take the lead. We found a huge chasm, which we figured was quite perilous to cross. And in fact it was, not only were some of the hand holds deliberately tied so that any weight would cause one to fall, but there was one damn big centipede that came up out of the darkness and attacked us! Anna and Maladan managed to defeat it and we pushed on.

We entered another chamber and found a number of mites examining an ivory statue on a table, we assume it was the sacred statue of the kobolds. Jonah quickly leapt into action and again tried to incinerate a number of them. However I fear that the power of the wand was fading as while it burned several, they managed to shrug of the flames and advance on Jonah. In fact we were very lucky that Jonah wasn’t outright killed by these nasty little creatures. One especially fierce one actually called down a giant tick and rode it into battle against us. After much fighting we eventually prevailed and gathered up the sacred statue and several other treasures, which we determined actually belonged to the kobold tribe.

Our little kobold friend lead us to the kobold lair were we could return their sacred statue. As our intent was to eliminate the kobold threat we figured we could try a peaceful resolution first. And if that failed, well at least we would know where the kobold lair was. However it seems that the issue with the kobolds was that the sacred statue was a bone of contention between the tribal chief and the tribal shaman. In turning over the statue to the chief, he broke the statue and then challenged the shaman for authority over the clan. The chief was welcome and invited us to kindly leave. Technically he did invite us to come back, but the intent was quite clear that he would very much prefer if he never hear from us again. We did manage though to calm the kobolds activities and create an alliance of sorts. Can kobolds and humans co-exist? I don’t know, but it seems that we will give it a try.

The next few days we started our journey back north towards Oleg’s. We figured that unless things went amiss we should arrive back on the evening of the tenth. Most of our return journey was uneventful, although we did find some things of interest. One item I will make no mention of it here, in fact we were all in agreement that we would keep it secret, even from Tomaz. The other was that in the forest just southwest of Oleg’s we discovered another tribe of kobolds and what seems to be their radish patch.

I made note of the radish patch, as they seemed to be a very large clearing of them. If we ever manage to get farmers into these areas, this radish patch would be a great initial crop.

Upon arriving back at Oleg’s we noticed several changes. Of note was that the bandit’s bodies were no longer on display, although the heads were. Also there seemed to be guards at the gate and walking the walls. I suspected that these were the reinforcements that Oleg had discussed with us on our first visit. And miracle of miracles, they even had Tomaz walking a post! Ha! I bet he was now sorry he had stayed behind!

We found that in addition to the guards there was also a wandering priest of Erastil present. He had some interesting information for us, one was that he may know who the widow Elena is, and he mentioned that there were rumors of a lost Shrine to Erastil somewhere in the Stolen Lands, guarded by an enormous bear. I heartily concurred with Maladan that finding a Shrine to Erastil was important, however as we didn’t know where it was we would have to continue our explorations of the area and hope we stumble across it.

We also discovered that among the items we exchanged with the kobolds was Svetlana’s wedding ring. Oleg and Svetlana were overjoyed to have it returned. Oleg opened up a line of credit for us in the store and agreed to give us very fair value for any items we would bring back to sell to him.

We were a tad puzzled as how we recovered the ring, because Oleg had mentioned that the bandits had originally stolen it from them. How it became an item passed back and forth between the kobolds and the mites is unknown, but it leads us to the premise that either the mites and/or kobolds are in league with the bandits or that they managed to some how steal it from the bandits. Either will require some more investigation.

~ end entry.

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