The party continued north and east from Botkinburg, skirting the mountains and low foothills in their journey toward the dwarven hold to the north. Wrathnell caught up with the group, along with a new comrade, the Knight Lady Eveen, who rode a light stag. On the third night out from Botkinburg, Deen noticed a mountain lion and cub lurking near the perimeter of the camp and woke Wrathnell by nearly hitting him with a rock. Wrathnell befriended the mother mountain lion and Little Walder constructed a harness in which the cub could be carried. The party continued from there.
The following day the party spied a small village a mile or so from their path around the foothills and decided to head that way to resupply. The village was called Kunris, and it was immediately apparent to the party that something was going on there. An old man shouted orders to villagers with pitchforks who were hurriedly running from house to house. The party approached the old man and Lady Eveen spoke, seeking to determine what was happening. The old man, who introduced himself as Papa, was initially cautious about the approach of the party, with a Knight on a stag, a half-orc, and a mountain lion among the group, but after talking to Eveen he seemed reassured and told the party the village had been plagued by recent murders. The murderer had been seen and was described as a bald human who was able to blend into the shadows at will. The only other significant occurrence Papa could think of was a resurgence of activity at an abandoned garrison forty-five minutes from the village.
The party investigated the scene of the latest murder – the death of an old widow. They found her in her bed with her throat slashed, blood pooled on the ground near her bed. Deen investigated the inside of the house and found evidence of either entry or exit near one of the windows. Little Walder investigated the outside of the house and found a bloody partial hand print outside that same window. The lock mechanism on the window seemed to make it impossible for even a skilled thief to unlock it from outside. Eveen discovered writing, in blood, under the bed. The language was identified as some sort of goblinoid text, and Shamash interpreted what he could make out as making reference to the ‘Horned Lord.’
Having done what they could in town, the party headed for the garrison. It was an old palisade structure, and upon approach the party saw helms sticking out above the walls. Little Walder used his spyglass and determined that the helms were mounted on poles and were not helmed warriors. The party approached the palisade and found the front gate broken. The palisade seemed deserted, with only a single building and an abandoned watch town inside. The party headed for the building, where Eveen knocked and loudly announced the party. Inside, they found a set of stairs descending into the ground. Eveen led the way and craftily discovered a pit trap by stumbling into it. She also became tangled in a net, but the party lowered Little Walder to her and she was freed.
The party checked the immediate area inside the dungeon while Walder and Wrathnell remained near the pit trap. Various discoveries were made about the layout, but as this occurred Little Walder spied a shadowy figure creeping up behind Wrathnell with an exposed dagger in hand. Little Walder used color spray, and a blinded half-orc stumbled out of the shadows with a dagger in hand. Wrathnell turned to fight and the noise brought the attention of the party.
The half-orc, beaten and bloodied, whistled and two mountain lions approach, much to the irritation of Wrathnell’s friend mountain lion. The fight was engaged, and Lady Eveen attempted to enter the fray by leaping the pit trap. She was only partially successful and hit the far ledge of the pit at chest level, managing to dig her nails into the hard dirt before falling in. She was helped up, once again by Walder.
The half-orc disappeared as the party defeated the mountain lions. The party then moved further into the complex and found the wounded half-orc laying on a bed in a curtained alcove. After an exchange of words, Shamash crushed the half-orc’s ribcage with his bearded axe, ending the half-orc thief. The party discovered a chest in the room and Deen found a workable needle trap. Little Walder contributed to determining whether the chest was trapped by prying it open with a stick, releasing a poisonous gas that caused him to pitch forward, unconscious. Lady Eveen dragged the gnome into the fresh air.
A search of the remainder of the complex revealed an owlbear chained in one dark corner. The party decided to leave it alone.
Another passageway was blocked by rubble, which the party uncovered before entering. In one of the rooms beyond, the party discovered a decayed human body being feasted upon by a giant rat. Lady Eveen rushed in to dispatch the vermin, quickly realizing that something greater than a rat was before her. Little Walder looked in and reported that the party was in fact fighting a large, feral, cat-like creature. As the fight went on, the cat emitted an ear-piercing screech, causing damage to many in the party.
After the fight, the party opted to leave. A room beyond the dead cat-creature held numerous giant rats and it was determined to be too risky to deal with. As the party left, Deen checked the curtained alcove once again, accompanied by Lady Eveen.While there, Deen transformed into an enormous ogre and attacked Lady Eveen. The Knight fled and Deen returned to the room with the dead cat-creature.
The party returned to get Deen, having to take him by force as he attempted to attack party members. Walder was able to see that he was in fact still Deen and not an ogre. Shamash slammed Deen into a wall and, after an exchange of head butts, held him fast while Little Walder bound his feet. Wrathnell discovered a compartment in one wall and opened it to reveal a pulsing, gel-like mass inside.
No sooner had Wrathnell made this discovery than Shamash let go of Deen and slammed into Wrathnell from behind, intent on death. At the same time, giant rats came streaming out of the room beyond. Little Walder and the mountain lion engaged the rats while Wrathnell and Lady Eveen attempted to destroy the mass of gel. Deen cut himself free and took his revenge on Shamash by ramming into him from behind.
The gel-creature was destroyed just in time, as the party was being weakened. Little Walder suffered a rat-bite, but the creatures returned to the far room when the gel creature was destroyed. Behind the gel creature was a solid gold statue of the Horned God.
The party detected magic in the room with giant rats and, using torches to hold the rodents at bay, retrieved the magic items. The party then decided it was far past time to leave the dungeon and return to the village to rest and heal.