Desperate Measures

To the Temple of the Elk

20th – 21st Gozran 4710 Despite a strong thunderstorm, the party press themselves to return to the Trading Post in one day, arriving late at night. After a short sleep that did nothing to refresh them a funeral service, ministered by Rogar (and therefore a little on the dull side) was held for Boryenka Garess, and he was buried on a hill overlooking the Trading Post.

The party also hired Neleksa to look after their newly acquired homing pigeons while they attend to their charter duties, even paying her a year in advance!

A new friend was made (although Rogar would disagree) with Sindarion, a half-elven druid with a pioneering spirit (and a mountain lion) who has thrown his lot in with the group. With Jhod accompanying them they resolve to head out once again to the Temple of Erastil the next day.

23rd – 24th Gozran 4710 They travel via the Moon Radish patch and then the nesting site of Pervilash and Ty-Tigger-Tut who introduced themsleves to the new druid. They make their own crossing of the Thorn River.

25th Gozran 4710 The temple is a blighted site, over come with mosses, brambles and fungi. The guardians soon make themselves known – a cursed bear and swarms of vile spiders. The bear, mad with rage, was a vicious foe but teamwork prevailed and the beast was put down – only for the corpse to transform into the human form of a priest of Erastil. The nature of the curse was revealed to Jhod upon touching the cursed cleric’s holy symbol…that the priest, fallen into evil was transformed into an immortal, insane bear to guard the temple until slain. Jhod resolves to take on stewardship of the temple site.

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Altered Plans

18th Gozran 4710 With Jhod accompanying the group, they head out to reclaim the Temple of Erastil, collecting Moon Radishes on the way. An over night camp saw a troll attack and eat one of their horses before being dispatched.

19th Gozran 4710 Travelling through the region of the Thorn River Camp they find the bandits have retaken the territory. Intent on not letting the brigands get a new foothold they instantly embark on clearance. Both sides attack each other cautiously but Boryenka, in typical glory seeking fashion rushes too far ahead of his companions and was stabbed from behind by the lieutenant of the repopulated camp. He was the first to fall, but was avenged by his fellow adventurers.

The group plan to return to Oleg’s to heal and mourn.

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The Fey and the Frogs

4th Gozran 4710 The party continue exploring, and a dead trapper is found. The grease spell, as well a ‘Kick Me’ note on the back, the campfire going out and missing items, are dedeuced (by Syluss) to be the work of the fey. Knowing they can be tempted into showing themselves for gifts a fair bit of pleading ensues before the Perlivash (a farie dragon) and Ty-Tigger-Tut (a Grig) reveal themselves. Friendships are made and the group progress onwards prank free, with knowledge of an abandoned Erastil temple to the south.

5th – 12th Gozran 4710 More exploring, this time acoss stark plains. A night-fight with a seemly very quiet Shambling Mound near an old barbarian grave marker the only entertainment! The group turn south to re-enter the forest near the source of the Thorn River – a pool of hot springs. The smelly party have only a few minutes to bathe before three giant frogs attack these intruders! The amphibians are slain. Tarnik reminds himself of his mantra: “Don’t get in the water!”.

13th – 16th Gozran 4710 The group travel back to Oleg’s Trading Post to rest a few days, make scrolls and pay a social call on Bokken. The Post’s population has grown by a couple of women: Naleksa Vijic (the cheerful camp follower) and Anza the Jay (embittered widow who acts as a guide). Jhod Kavken, the priest of Erastil is invited to accompany the group the re-discoverer the lost temple revealed to them by Pervilash and Ty-Tigger-Tut.

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Treks & Traps

20th – 27th Pharast 4710 After the storm the group once again carry out a methodical search of the area, taking it slower to gather supplies as they go. A dawn attack by a worg (quickly dispatched) and a tense moment with a party of kobolds from the infamous Sootscale tribe gathering the much prized moon radishes (disaster averted by some exceptional diplomacy) interrupted the circular route back to Oleg’s Trading Post.

28th – 29th Pharast 4710 While Syluss, Rogar and Boryenka ponder the state of the aging catapults that stand on the towers of the Trading Post, Tusk, Tantomony and Tarnik head out to revisit Bokken to discuss potions and poison, avoiding a drunken troll en route. The old hermit is very interested in moon radishes and strikes a deal to trade potions for the prized root. He attempts to cement the deal with a round of his revolting beer but only Tarnik can summon the will to drink it, and then only once. They return to Oleg’s the next day.

30th Pharest – 3rd Gozran 4710 It’s back on the road again, travelling west before circling south. The region seems littered with bear traps making the group cautious, firstly of traps and secondly of bears! Nerves are further tested after the group (well Tantomony) falls victim to a grease spell.

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Plunder & Preperation

6th – 15th Pharast 4710 Laden with the spoils of victory and with a prisoner in tow, the group return to Oleg’s Trading Post to interrogate (with the aid of charm person) the hapless bandit. Some knowledge was revealed of a greater bandit camp and their leader further to the south. With the ex-bandit inducted as a recruit into the militia sent to bolster the party, they recuperate and prepare for a more detailed exploration of the region (as obligated by the charter they bear). Potions are prepared, horses ordered from Restov and the new militia given some training.

16th Pharast 4710 The group travel beyond the region surrounding the Trading Post to begin the systematic exploration of the true wilderness.

17th Pharest 4710 After beginning to investigate an area some 20 miles out of Oleg’s the group discover the home of Bokken the hermit, lots of potion lore, a little brewing lore and virtually no memory, except for a deep hatred for his brother. A night is spent with Bokken and his potato based ale (well, he says it’s potato….).

18th Pharast 4710 Nursing a few mild hangovers the group press on to explore south of the hermit’s hovel, narrowly avoiding a pair of arguing trolls scoffing the horse or some unfortunate traveller before them. Discretion was the better part and they found another route. The pony-sized spider lairing in a small valley was more their measure and after dispatching the monster a map marking a ‘X’ near a distictive tree was discovered.

19th Pharast 4710 _The Spring Equinox and a holy day for Gozreh, a holy week for Erastil)The adventurers are driven to shelter in a cave by a long and powerful thunderstorm. Exploration is delayed a day….

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Battle at Thorn River Camp

4th Pharast 4710: Joined by the Saurian wizard Syluss, friend of the Ratkin witch, the party follow the path of the river up stream to where it leaves the forest. After being momentarily hindered by a small pack of wolves the group decide to make camp before tumbling across the bandit hideout and send Tantomy and Tusk to scout the area. They get a good sense of the layout and the number of bandits but unfortunately spotted by guards patroling out from the camp. From then on they were shadowed back to their camp and their plans overheard by the very people they’d hope to surprise…..

5th Pharast 4710 The party finally discover the bandit spies and dispatch one but a second had given them the slip. The brief skirmish had fired up their blood and they decide to strike. Tarnic attempts a spell aqssisted disguise but the gambit fails. The group adopt a ‘refused flank’ tactic, concetrating on a small part of the camp under the cover of fog cloud. The battle descends into a brutal slugfest of bowfire, daze spells and knife fights ending in messy foot chase and the Boryenka of the Cockatrice severely injured.

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Opening Moves

1st Pharast 4710: Having arrived the day before the group and greeted by a disappointed Oleg who was expecting a much larger contingent of fighters to rid the Greenbelt of it’s bandit menance the group agree to ambush a bandit contingent who are due to arrive and claim this month’s protection money. The band mercilessly cut the brigands down, Boryenka Garess of the Order of the Cockatrice in particular showed reckless bravery in charging headlong into the fray and Tusk displayed savage brutality in slashing down two of them and intimidating the last bandit standing into surrendering. This poor fool was intimidated into revealing information about his camp nad the presence of other bandits before being hanged for his crimes according to the law.

2nd Pharest 4710: Keen to catch the bandit camp by surprise the party sets of south making good time over the plains hindered by the presence of a wild slurk in a bog close to the edge of a large forest. Setting camp in the shelter of the trees Boryenka’s prowess did not extend to his observational abilities as he did not spot the Blood Cougar approach the camp and attack his own horse. Fortunately the beast was slain and the noble steed healed before too much damage could be done.

3rd Pharest 4710: THe group head onwards leaving the forest and entering a region of low hills. The come across a verdent valley through which a broad river flows through from the forest. They decide to camp in the valley and follow the river up-stream the next day. Again the cavalier’s perceptive skills are lacking but aided by Veran, Tarnic the Rat-witch’s familiar, the group manage to kill a bear who had come down to the river to catch some fish.

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Prologue
A Harmless Conversation

When the other guests had left the two men were left alone. The younger, more impetuous of the two spoke first. “Did you hear the talk? They’re ready for it! We should rally the families!”
The wiser man winced at the crass directness. “Patience my friend. The Regent is well entrenched on the throne. We must nuture our assets”.
“Assets! These are desperate times! Our swords and blood are our assets. If we strike soon…” the young man realized his voice had risen too loud and cut himself off. His mentor carried on in softer tones.
“…we will be cut down by the Regents allies. No, we need more resources. Money, land to harvest people and provisions…the unclaimed lands to the south should provide ample wealth”.
He recieved a look that seemed to regard him as mad. “The Stolen Lands? It will take more resources to claim than they will provide. It’s a nest of thieves and monsters!”
“Then we won’t do the work. If we offer suitable encouragement others will be happy to do so.” He smiled slightly but there was no warmth. His junior could see where he was going.
“Adventurers! Worse than mercenaries, only slightly better than bandits themselves!”
“A resource we can harness, my friend. And if they are no longer useful they will not be missed. We must play a long game, and besides…desperate times…..”

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