This Is Our Land

Exploring We Will Go

DM Note: Slow updates due to fits and starts playing as some nights some players couldn’t make it. This is a summary of the group finishing up the exploration and defeating the Stag Lord.

The group spent a couple weeks exploring the section given to them by charter. There was an encounter with some bandits sent out to find them and stop them from pacifying the lands. They managed to retrieve both Tuskgutter’s head for the hunter (no head cheese yet) and a Tatzlwyrm head for Oleg. Lars managed to talk the tricksome fey pair out of playing any more pranks on the group. Dugan was able to purge the curse from an old temple to Erastil and the group sent the travelling priest Jhovan to look after it. And every day, dealing with the Stag Lord got closer and closer.

After preparations wherein they got Bodken to put some sleep poison in the liquor they had taken as spoils and bought a few potions to help with their attack, they sent three of their group in to deliver the bottles. After giving the Stag Lord enough time to fall asleep, they moved to get the gates open and in the general melee, the keep was pacified, with one of the bandit leaders simply walking away in the middle of the fight, and the Stag Lord bound and trussed and headed back to face justice for his crimes.

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Return of the Ring

After bidding farewell to the kobolds, the party decided to move on and attempt to find the fangberry grove. They also decided to do some exploring and mapping as they passed through the area. As part of their exploring, they came across a dying tree rising out of a small hill, looking like a claw reaching from the ground. Finding some freshly disturbed dirt at the base of the tree, they did a little digging and found someone’s forgotten stash of coins.

At the small valley containing the fangberries, they found to their dismay, that all the bushes were covered in a fine net of webbing. Also, fangberry bushes have very large thorns on them. Berne attempted to gather up a sack full, did well with the thorns, but not so well with the swarm of spiders that did not like him stomping through their home. Luckily, the tiny spiders were held at bay by Lars’ nascent ability to control the wind, and they got out of there fast.

Back at Bokken’s they found out that the Stag Lord’s liquor was distilled by someone quite knowledgable about it. Bokken was quite willing and able to go on at length about distilling, but the group had to move on. They gave him the berries, and he affirmed his discount for them.

Back at Oleg’s, they gave Svetlana’s ring to Oleg, who was quite happy to see it. He gave them credit for any supplies he carried. There was also a new visitor to the Trading Post — a priest of Erastil.

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They Mite Be Giants 2
Mites and Kobolds and Rings

After that huge centipede, the group paused to gather themselves, then attempted to climb over the chasm. Dugan’s armor made that difficult, but luckily Berne had thought ahead and tied a rope to his waist. Once across, they could hear some sort of discussion going on in the room ahead. Berne scouted ahead and found 5 mites and a rather large tick in the room. A hurried, whispered discussion followed, and they decided to have Lars summon a viper to bite one of the mites, there by distracting them while the others attacked.

It worked well, though the party had some trouble in the cramped quarters again early. Dugan wounded the tick greatly, and Berne finished it off. The mite the viper bit eventually died of the poison. When the last one realized he was the last one, he fled, shrieking further into the tunnels.

Notes on the table let them know that the ring they had been following had actually been stolen by the kobolds. And Mikmek chittered happily when he saw the statue of Old Sharptooth — the mighty winged kobold who watched over their tribe. He cheered that they could finally get rid of Tartuk, then tried to take it back. The PCs finally got out of him that Tartuk was the shaman who told them that if they didn’t do what Old Sharptooth wanted, then the tribe would be cursed. Dugan quickly realized that Tartuk was the only one who could hear what Old Sharptooth wanted. It was decided that they would trade the statue for Svetlana’s ring, and Mikmek would lead them to the kobold warrens.

After a night’s rest to regain spells and some health, they traveled a few hours to the rocky hill that contained the kobold lair. They plan was for Mikmek to go in and bring the Chief out to dicuss the trade. Outside the lair, Mikmek and the guard Nakpik had a slightly heated conversation before they went in and returned with Chief Sootscale in all his glory and a few guards. Once he found out they wanted the ring, he reluctantly told them Tartuk had it, so the group asked for Tartuk to come out. Even more reluctantly, the Chief sent one of his minions back in to get the shaman. When Dugan showed that they did indeed have the statue, Tartuk shrieked and ordered the tribe to attack the group for defiling the statue with their scaleless hands.

An entangle caught most of the kobolds. The chief was just outside the area and Tartuk was able to dodge and twist to stay free. Mikmek moved away from the area of the fight, not wanting to be involved. Even the Chief, free though he was, stayed on the edge of the fight. The group moved up to the spell area, and Tartuk threw out a cause fear at Corwyn, which the cleric easily shook off. The Chief called to Dugan for the statue, and Dugan stated the terms again — statue for ring. The Chief agreed and when Dugan rode to him and gave him the statue, the chief smashed it on the ground and ordered the tribe to kill Tartuk. Tartuk had taken damage and knew that the fight had turned against him, so he turned himself invisible to flee.

The Chief promised the group that the Sootscale tribe would help them out whenever they needed and gave them all of Tartuk’s remaining loot, as well as some things the kobolds couldn’t use themselves.

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They Mite Be Giants 1
Still in search of a ring...

The group picked up another bandit who was looking for something better to do with her life in the person of Dendara. She knew a little more about this mysterious bandit leader called the Stag Lord. Told them the liquor was for him and also told them that Svetlana’s ring was stolen by some mites a few days ago. She was also able to give directions to the Old Sycamore. They tied the other bandits into their wagon and hauled them back to Oleg’s to be taken back to Brevoy for trial (and most likely hanging). On the way, Neiri warned them about the spider’s nest off to the west, and Dendara warned them that the Stag Lord was a very formidable opponent.

At Oleg’s, the Swordlords’s response to Oleg’s many requests for aid against the bandits had arrived during the group’s three day travel to the Thorn Ford. Kesten Garess, part of a minor noble house came south to make a name for himself, or die trying. He took possession of the bandits, assuring the party that they would be sent back to Restov with the next soldiers to pass through, which would be more often now that the charter was being used.

Still wondering why the Stag Lord wanted this liquor specifically, they decided to visit the local eccentric, Bokken and find out if he could identify any special properties in it. After a day spent exploring and mapping, they stopped at Bokken’s and he said he’d do it if they retrieved some Fangberries for his use in making potions. He gave them some vague, but mostly accurate directions. They decided to check out the mite’s lair on the way to try to find Svetlana’s ring.

The mite’s lair was difficult in the beginning. The cramped spaces found the group having difficulty adjusting their swings and foot work. The first encounter ended only when Lars’ summoned viper managed to poison the last mite. By the time they rescued Mikmek, the kobold being tortured, they had figured out the low ceiling and managed to drop the mob of mites. The huge centipede was nearly the death of them, especially Berne who lost a large chunk of flesh to the beast. Luckily, it was entangled by Lily at the beginning of the fight and was easier to hit and unable to strike at full potential. The carcass dropped lifelessly into the chasm. (and we ended the session here)

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The Thorn Ford Camp
A major dent in bandit activity

It was decided that Happs Brydon would be kept in the midden heap until someone could come and collect him and take him to Restov for trial and pretty much hanging. The characters knew that would be the outcome, and that they probably had the right to carry out the sentence, but they weren’t sure that having just arrived in the Greenbelt that they had the authority to handle bandits that way. Plus, one of the Wanted posters mentioned that Restov wanted to make sure bandits were taken care of, so sending one or more back to be tried would play into getting that reward.

There was some interviewing of Neiri, who helpfully gave the characters the layout of the bandit camp. He also told them what he knew of the lead bandit, the Stag Lord. Now that the charcters all had horses, thanks to defeated bandits, their travel would be easier. Dugan was able to tell that Neiri was not as black-hearted as Happs, so the group decided to trust him a little bit and let him lead them to the Thorn Ford Camp of the bandits menacing the northern section of the Greenbelt. There was some more discussion of a strategy before they decided to attack.

Neiri mentioned that taking out the woman in charge of the camp would probably mean most of the bandits surrendering, so the plans centered on that. Berne and Corwyn would be tasked with taking out the guard on one of the platforms, and Lily, who managed to arrive not long after the fight at Oleg’s, would be responsible for entangling the low-level thugs to try to keep them out of the fight with Kressle.

Berne listened carefully while the others engaged in a lengthy discussion of the pros and cons of various plans of attack, his only contribution being, “Tell me who to go after, and I’ll do it.” But the talking went on a bit longer than expected, and he began to wonder whether so much time would pass that the encamped bandits would begin to wonder what had happened to their comrades. When it seemed the outlines of a tactical attack had been sketched, Berne stood. “I will get into position. At a count of 30, I will shoot at the man on the watch platform.” As he walked away, he could be heard saying in a low voice. “One. Two. Three. …”

Another decently planned fight went the characters’ way. Kressle wouldn’t surrender, and once she was done in, the others surrendered. So they now have four more bandits to decide what to do with, and they really should not get used to all the fights going their way.

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Oleg's and Bandit Ambush
The party arrives and finds out they didn't get the whole story

DM Note: Players should feel free to edit in views and observations of their characters.

It took the group a few days to travel down to Oleg’s Trading Post from Brevoy after they received their charters. They spent the time learning a little bit about each other.

Bern, a half-orc ranger. Quiet and serious-minded. A pioneer looking to stay away from the more heavily populated, and political, cities.

Corwyn, a human cleric of Torag. Takes his faith seriously, rather knightly, but is otherwise fairly easy-going. A cousin to the Surtova’s now ruling Brevoy, but forever on the outside, looking to show that the whole family is not full of scheming power-mongers.

Zachariah, a human magus. Looking to make a name for himself. Friendly, and doesn’t mind a few (dozen?) drinks when he isn’t on the job. Wants to join the ranks of the Aldori.

Lars, a half-elven Oracle of the Wind. Rangy, charming and laid back. (Traits need to be picked so I can blurb about why he is on this expedition.)

Dugan, a human paladin of Erastil. Good-hearted with a folksy wisdom — no book-learning for this salt-of-the-earth guy. (Traits need to be picked so I can blurb about why he is on this expedition.)

Lily, human druid with tiger companion. Another pioneer looking to maintain a healthy balance between civilization and the wilderness. (Player missed first session.)

Svetlana Leveton greeted the companions warmly while her husband was busy fixing a leaky roof. While she fed them a hearty stew for midday meal, she mentioned how happy she and Oleg were that the group would be able to help them with their bandit problem. There was a moment of confusion, the group not having been told there was an immediate bandit problem, but Corwyn and Bern were both especially willing to help out this kind homesteader. And her standoffish husband.

The plan was to draw the bandits in when they arrived by having Lars and Corwyn pretend to be normal travelers stopping for a meal. When the bandits moved to the tables to have their own meals, Bern and Dugan would drop down from hiding near the gate and close it, keeping the bandits from escaping easily. Zachariah would wait in the stables until fighting started, then spring out and help.

The plan worked very well, though the lead bandit, Happs Brydon, did manage to wound both Corwyn and Dugan with his bow. After a couple of dazes from Zachariah on Happs while the others took out the thugs, the last thug and Happs both surrendered. The unrepentant Happs was placed in a midden until they could arrange for him to be sent for trial and punishment back in Brevoy. The last thug, Neiri, was only in the gang to make some money and readily agreed to show the group where the bandits camped along the river.

The group was discussing how far to trust the ex-bandit as the night ended.

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