After their surprising victory at the Temple of the Elk, the party decided to spend the rest of that day, and the next couple days besides, to ensure that the surrounding area was free of threats. On their third day of exploration, just as they became satisfied that no threats were present, a huge bearlike feathered creature rushed out of the underbrush and attacked Rastus Eodai, injuring him severely on its very first attack.
At first the party put up a brave front and counterattacked boldly. Edric attempted to sleep the monster, but it shrugged off her attempt effortlessly. Kosgrim rushed to Rastus and healed him partially. Marra rushed up to the monstrocity and attacked it, doing some damage, but not enough to give much hope to the battle.
On the owlbear’s second attack, Rastus was so severely injured that he could not fight on. Nearly unconscious with grievous wounds he withdrew from battle, running to safety and collapsing unconscious and bleeding at the edge of the battlefield. Kosgrim likewise withdrew and prepared to provide Rastus with more healing. Edric beat a hasty retreat. Knowing the creature would only chase after them, and that they could not successfully escape while carrying Rastus, Marra bravely stood her ground and continued to fight, drawing the owlbear’s full attention.
Kosgrim managed to heal Rastus, who returned to his feet and was even able to get off a couple rapid bowshots at the owlbear. Marra was badly wounded by this point, but fought on, to give her compatriots time to escape.
When, to everybody’s surprise, they managed to bring the beast down!
Late the next night they returned to Oleg’s. Oleg was happy to see this fine corpse and (after some haggling) gave them 100gp in store credit for it. Svetlana was happy to hear that she’d have a gourmet stew ingredient for a few days.
On Gozran the 8th, they headed due south into unexplored territory. On their second day in the area they were excited to discover an apparently literal goldmine hidden by overgrowth. Knowing they didn’t have the resources to take advantage of it, they pried a couple nuggets from the wall, and then buried the entrance under dirt, and then covered that and the area they dug the dirt from with plants. Rastus’ experience as a ranger came in handy while trying to make it all look natural.
After their fourth day of exploration in the area, they moved east into more unexplored territory. Their second day there had them attacked by a grizzly bear. Fortunately, it succumbed to a well-cast sleep spell from Edric, and they quickly had bear meat available. After a couple more days, they moved east again where they spent three uneventful days.
Finally, they headed North to pay a visit to Bokken. Batty as ever, he talked about things without ever quite seeming to understand everything he said. But still able to run his little enterprise, he traded a cure light wounds potion and an identify scroll for the remains of the bear. Considering it was six days old rotten meat, and good at this point only for its pelt, he overpaid but didn’t seem to notice anymoreso than did the GM or players. (OOC: The way we’re handling days where nothing happens makes it easy to accidentally miss the passage of a week. Oops.)
On Gozran the 22nd, the party returned to Oleg’s and found Jhod ready for his journey to the temple that they cleansed. They left the next day, arriving on the 24th. Jhod was overjoyed. He promised them for as long as he lived, any spell casting he could perform for them would be free aside from the cost of material. Mysteriously, he then immediately headed right out into the woods, inviting them to stay for as long as they needed. They spent the night there and in the morning headed northwest into unexplored territory.
Their second day in the area brought them to a grisly find: A trapper/hunter crushed to death under what was apparently his own deadfall trap. Nearby, his axe was found in the stump of a tree – probably one of the trees now resting atop his body. Also nearby were two unset bear traps. Examination revealed that the ropes holding the deadfall appeared cut rather than worn or broken. It’s unknown exactly what transpired here, but foul play is suspected. They buried the unfortunate man and made off with his beartraps.
On their fourth day they headed northeast and began the exploration of a new area.
Before long, Edric found a beartrap set and hidden with none of the customary signs used by trappers to warn unwary travelers. Thankfully, she didn’t step into it. Instead, she triggered it with a stout stick. It was picked up and brought the beartrap inventory to three.
A few hours later Marra was less lucky. A bear trap clamped around her leg causing terrible pain and bloodloss. It took several attempts to get it off of her, after which Kosgrim supplied much-needed healing. More trepidatious now, the party carefully scoured the hunting ground and safely found and triggered several more traps. By the end of the day, Kosgrim was weighed down by ten of the things. Realizing that they might come in very handy if the real bandit camp was ever found, they began strategizing for that fine day.
The next two days brought no new happenings. A day’s ride from Olegs, do they return to base, or expand into another unexplored area?