Not caring to battle a giant spider in the fading twilight, the stalwart adventurers wisely retreated to a safe distance and made camp for the night as they plotted their early morning arachnicide.
They hunted down a pheasant to use as bait, but the spider had other plans. As Marra took point and tried to come close enough to the lair to place the pheasant, they discovered that trapdoor spiders are fast! It sprung from its lair, travelled 15’, attacked Marra, and retreated back to its lair before any counter attack could be made. It kept up this strategy for a while.
During the battle, Edric cast sleep and Kosgrim cast doom, but these spells had no effect. Swords and bolts were the order of the day. Marra took a bad hit and was poisoned, giving her weakness that would last for days. The spider was able to move in and out of it’s lair too quickly. Something had to be done. Finally, Kosgrim positioned himself to act just as the spider sprung from its lair to attack Marra again. When it did, Kosgrim valiantly leapt behind it, blocking it from retreating back to the lair. Blocked from its lair, the spider moved away from its foes. As it did, both Marra and Kosgrim took the opportunity to attack. Marra dealt the final blow, once again killing a creature as it moved away. This is becoming a habit for her. (Though she rejects the title, “Marra the Backstabber”.)
The spider’s lair turned out to be a 25’ deep web-encrusted hole. At the bottom was found the body of an unfortunate human victim. Around his neck was a stag amulet similar to the one found on Happs Bydon. In his pocket was a crumpled bit of paper with a distinctive claw-like tree dipicted alone on a hill, a red X scrawled across its roots.
Kosgrim harvested some spider parts, and the group continued on their way. The rest of the day and that evening were uneventful. The next day they moved east to the next area of the plains which was a beautiful area featuring fields of wildflowers.
On their second day in this eastern-most reach of the land within the jurisdiction of their charter a strange sight was beheld. In the sky could be seen a mysterious golden sphere, floating and slowly moving. Occasional flashes of light would emanate from it. As they watched, a cone of blue light shone forth and stopped along a vertical plane as though it were being shone upon an invisible wall. This performance was repeated another few times before a thin limb protruded from one side of the orb. At its end was a bright knife-like object. The inscrutable spheroid used this to apparently cut a vertical black slash in the air. It passed through the opening, disappearing as space sealed up behind it. It never acknowledged the humans watching it. As inexplicably as it had appeared, it was gone.
The next day a small hovel was found. Signs of recent activity were present, and pelts inside indicated a hunter lived here, but he was not to be found nearby.
By the end of the day Marra was fully recovered from the spider venom, grateful that no further combat had ensued during her recuperation. They encamped, and decided to head back to Oleg’s the next day.
During their return trip, they disturbed four wild boars! It could have been a disaster, but Edric successfully put two of them to sleep with a spell. The remaining two engaged Marra and Edric while Kosgrim kept at range with his crossbow. Marra’s thick armor prevented much damage, as did Edric’s amazing luck. Before long the two boars became sides of pork. Before the sleep spell had time to wear off of the other two, a coup de grace was successfully delivered to each. Success! Now they’d return to Olegs with pancetta!
Upon their return, they were welcomed back to the post. The Free Irregulars were manning the battlements and general repairs were still underway.
Oleg confronted Edric. A message had arrived, addressed to “Edric Barevont-Medvyed” arousing Oleg’s suspicions as “Edric Barevont” had failed to mention before that he was a Medvyed noble. Oleg was clearly uncomfortable to have a nobleman secretly inhabiting his home without a known reason for the secrecy, yet also grateful for the help Edric had provided. Unsure how to react, he simply made his unease known and delivered the
letter to Edric.
Cheered by the news of potential allies to the east in the years to come, Edric shared the news.
In the meantime, Jhod Kavkin approached Kosgrim to talk cleric shop. It seems, he said, that rumor has it that the lost temple to the south may have a guardian – a huge bear. And that the bear seems to be “not quite right”. He didn’t elaborate on how he came upon this news, but the warning was well-appreciated. Kosgrim showed Jhod the stag amulet they’d recovered from the spider victim, mentioned it looked similar to one that Happs Bydon had been wearing, and asked if it might be a holy symbol. Jhod hadn’t seen such a symbol before, but promised to keep an eye out. Similarly, Jhod was perplexed at Kosgrim’s description of the golden sphere the party had seen floating a few days earlier.
A hunter was visiting Oleg to sell some pelts. Kosgrim asked him, “Do you have a hovel east of here?” The indignant, “I have a HOUSE!” that came in response showed just what the hunter thought of being asked about a hovel. (OOC: Much laughter was had by the whole group from this gaff.) Though it turned out that the hunters home was west of Oleg’s, not east. Oleg suggested that they had perhaps come upon Smitty’s home to the east.
There was much drinking and dining and revelry and accounting of adventures, resulting in the heroes gaining confidence in their abilities. (OOC: Ding! Level 2!)
The next day they headed into the woods. Strange happenings were afoot.
Taking point at the front of the party, Marra suddenly vanished! Kosgrim and Edric expressed alarm, which was confusing to Marra since she hadn’t noticed anything unusual. Her compatriots could hear her talking, but could not see her. She approached Edric and poked him in the belly, at which point she suddenly reappeared. Edric’s spellcraft told him that an invisibility spell, or similar effect, had affected Marra for unknown reasons. They examined the area but could find no explanation.
Marra discovered the Edric didn’t particularly like being poked. This discovery led to the now-visible Marra poking the sorcerer several more times over the rest of the day for little reason other than to be annoying. (OOC: And because the player’s reaction to being constantly poked was a pricelessly bewildered face.)
Later, the tree roots and vines and flowers suddenly sprung to life and began grabbing at the legs of the adventurers. Edric escaped quickly and discerned that an entangle spell had been cast on the area. Soon the spell expired with no follow up attacks from anywhere and no harm done. Edric suspected fey pranks.
They left an offering of sweets for the fairies, and Marra poured some wine around it.
That night Kosgrim and Marra awaken to the sound of war cries and dozens of men running through their camp. Exiting the tent they found Edric sleeping on guard duty and no sign of intruders. They awakened Edric who was able to detect dim residual magical auras in the area and upon himself.
Looking at the place the sweets and wine offering had been left, they found one of their own pieces of paper with a note scrawled upon it: “HOW ABOWT BOTL NEXT TIME?” with several of the letters backwards or incomplete. Chuckling, they left a wine offering using a bottle from Kosgrim’s alchemy kit.
An uneventful day followed as they continued mapping the area. The only thing of note was a gigantic cashew tree, 200’ high, with the ground all around littered with cashews. That night, Kosgrim (on guard duty) was suddenly blinded when a flare spell went off on his face. His yell of alarm awakened the others, but no attackers could be found. Edric suspected the fey and was growing impatient with their antics.
In the morning they noticed another prank: The side of Marra’s horse had been painted with the words “Unmarked Constable Horse”. (OOC: If you don’t get the joke, this might help .) The group laughed appreciably at what they now were sure was a harmless fey prank.
Their appreciation drew a tiny grig and a faery dragon named Tyg Titter Tut and Perlivash to come and introduce themselves and thank the group for being good sports. They could now see that these “biggenses” were different than the “mean biggenses”, and upon talking to the group were happy to hear that these heroes were here to drive out the big meanies. They promised to stop their silliness.
Talking to these fey, the party learned the location of Kressle’s camp of bandits, and also got a detailed description of where they could find a lost shrine to Erastil (along with a frightful warning of a crazy bear living there).
The fey also mentioned a moon radish patch, but warned that it had been taken over by mean kobalds. When they learned that these biggenses had eliminated the kobalds, Tig Titter Tut and Perlivash happily went off to go enjoy some radishes.