We have been charged with chronicling the details of our adventures in addition to the mapping of the terrain. We are to provide detailed recollections of our actions, tasks we undertake, and log any rewards garnered. One can only suppose that our benefactor is looking for more information than he felt prudent in sharing with us. This disturbs me slightly. I would prefer to know everything there is to know, and sort things out in due course. Perhaps time will eventually tell us the reason (or the wisdom) of withholding that information.
I have not the same gift for words as my kinsman, Shannen. Were it to me, I would keep merely a simple log of creatures slain, and the geography encountered. As taking my turn as scribe cannot gracefully be avoided, I put my hand to pen.Interrogating the captured bandits at Oleg’s reveals they are from the local arm of a criminal organization of sorts, led by someone known as the Stag Lord. It seems this local branch is captained by an axe-wielding woman known to be of irrational temperament, and rumor has she is willing to fill her ranks with desperate locals – farmers, villagers.
The bounty to neutralize this band was reasonable, so we set out at first light. The lady of the house sent us with an additional charge to bring her a basket of moon radishes for soup. For my part, I find there is more appealing forage to be had nearly anywhere – but as the old saying goes – “There’s no accounting for human taste.” They are plentiful, nutritious, and not entirely objectionable to the palate. (The radishes, not the humans)
It was simple enough to track the ruffians’ route back to their camp. On the way we heard a suspicious rustling deep within a sizable moon radish patch. Calpale bravely dispatched a large swath of radish tops and revealed a small band of kobolds. He absorbed a goodly bit of injury (from the kobolds, not the radishes) but soldiered on valiantly. We slew the sooty kolbolds handily and then set ourselves to a thornier task, namely – deciding whether to find the kobolds lair, return to Oleg’s or to venture forth. There was some debate about both the value of the kobold bounty and the shelf life of radishes. We decided to head south another day, deal with the bandits, and pick up fresh radishes upon our return if needed. The kobolds will still be around – and we can address them in our own time.
Another days’ hiking riverside brought us to the local hideout of the Stag Lord’s bandits. An unfortunately-placed step on my part alerted their sentry. NoBark’s devastating volley set the pace, but he soon paid for it dearly as a pair of heavy crossbow bolts from the leader found their mark. Thanks to the quick thinking of Shannen and the valorous protection by Calpale he was revived to hurl death again. Xavier and I were effective on the sentries with sword and bow. As their tempestuous leader attempted to flee, she fell to Shannen’s whip and a mighty stroke from Xavier. The few remaining bandits surrendered and were eventually (after some fruitful interrogation) spared to return to their families. We returned Oleg’s uneventfully with the spoils, good intelligence on the Stag Lord, and a sizable haul of moon radishes. Of particular interest to everyone is a case of impressive liquors.
After returning Oleg’s goods, and selling the remainder we netted about 200gp each and a bowl of lovingly-prepared soup each. On a positive note, armed support has arrived from the city, so we can continue our mapping (and pick up any incidental adventuring work) without leaving the post undefended. After dining, we caught up on the local news. Not surprisingly, it seems to focus on local bounty work, trade reports, and gossip about the occasional traveler.
For the record, I have less than No Interest in the natterings of the locals about how this or that noble people their bedchambers. While I dismiss such nonsense when I can’t avoid it – it seems unusual how much of it focuses on the cleric with the security detail. He’s asked us to investigate some area of holy ground near here. Time will tell if proves to be a trustworthy ally – or someone attempting to use us for a more mischievous purpose. Like most humans – he is fairly legible to me. I can tell better than most when they are concealing their interest or agitation or when they are withholding information, but to what end – I cannot discern. Either way, I will be watching him closely. Tomorrow we venture south to locate TuskGutter, a boar-like creature that has been harassing the locals and try to put an end to him.
Addendum: A long day of hiking through the plains found us startling a large pit spider as much as we were startled by him. A clever and powerful charge by Calpale kept the beast in its lair, and unable to pounce, and several potent volleys from our party into the mouth of the den put it down without much trouble. We will make camp here tonight and continue at sunup. It seems our journeys have taken us into The Wilds… and wild they are indeed.