After we had all recovered and Sir Percival had patched the two “ladies” up we proceeded to chat with the two rescuers. They inquired about our mission and warned us that the surrounding area was indeed quite dangerous and that the temple we had been looking for was thought to be far south from us. We also talked about the Paladin’s mission to the world wound and Layanos in all of his bluntness questioned his judgement and debated how long he thought Sir Percival would survive. After escorting the group back to the post undaunted by Layanos’ doubts The two set off to continue on to the world wound.
The next day we set out to the east and what could only be our doom as every day seems to start out. After traveling for some time we spot in the distance a single tiny hut, Hayley and Natalia set out to hopefully sneak up on and scout what could be in the tent. Able to sneak straight up to the hut without being seen the notice a man standing over a boiling cauldron appearing to be in the act of brewing potions. After hearing some of the ingredients being placed in the brew they head back to the boys who appear to be sitting in super awkward silence. To the knowledge of Layanos the man could be making pretty much anything so the party chooses to approach without provoking and to pretty much fly by the seat of their robes. To their surprise the hermit wasn’t plotting to kill them and in fact was a potion vendor who made most of his money in dealings with Oleg at the trading post. After realizing they were all broke hoes (except for Douglas) they decided to bed down for the evening outside the hut. During all of their watching they all seem to notice what appear to be more will o’ the wisp in different directions, thankfully nobody is foolish enough to pursue the little balls of nasty.
With another evening behind them they decide to continue mapping the area. After awhile they start to hear giggling in some nearby bushes, weary of traps after their luck so far most of the group decides to just steer clear of the bushes. However Natalia being a gypsy couldn’t seem to help herself and as she’s investigating she is surprised to find a grease trap spring into existence below her. Not being caught off guard by this she manages to remain right side up and continues to investigate. After much goading to light the bush on fire from Hayley, Natalia gives up the chase and the party continues on. After traveling for some distance the party comes across an area littered with skeletons of all kinds, some of them are marked and scarred by what appear to be giant fang marks. After identifying the nest of what could only be a giant trap door spider the party decides to leave the area before it’s too late. But before they can all mount up and vacate the area the spider springs the trap. Layanos thinking everyone not on a horse is probably dead decides to run for it and so his recollection of this fight is a little foggy but when he decides he might need everyone for future encounter he returns to combat only to find the spider dead and his cohorts standing triumphant, Huzzah! Afterward we decide to examine the trap door spiders hole for shiny objects after more goading from party members to light things on fire we decide to have Corinth crawl down the hole while it’s still full of webs. He find a few more corpses and a human one with the same stag skull necklace that we found on the bandits we had vanquished previously. After a hard day of fun we decide to bed down in the wilderness.
After a night of watches Layanos finds his spell component pouch missing, after some detective work by Douglas he’s lead to a tree. Deciding not to go into danger by himself Layanos goes to wake the rest of the party who each also find their weapons stolen or broken. After rigging a pulley system and retrieving their belonging they hear more giggling from a nearby bush. Realizing they are being followed and tricked by some fae Natalia tries to bribe them out with a single gold piece to no avail. Giving up for now the party continues on for another uneventful day of mapping.
During the evening watch Corinth is put to sleep, when he finally wakes he goes and checks on the others only to find all of them have shiny new mustaches drawn on their faces. Outraged by this the group decides to lure out the troublemakers with a trap bribe. After placing a few shiny objects and a flower wreath on the ground the group hides. When she sees the objects disappearing from the pile, Hayley using her wits throws a bag of powdered chalk at the area coating what appears to be a half lady half cricket creature. Leaping in to action and harnessing all the rage a fake mustache can bring the party attacks the creature and brings her down with the mighty Corinth dealing the final blow with his shiny sword. Enraged at the loss of his partner what appears to be a cross between a dragon and a kitty cat appears and attacks the party. While the tiny animal brings its breath upon Hayley the party unleashes a might rain of arrows, swords, whips and spells with Natalia ripping the creatures head off with a mighty flourish of her whip and collecting it’s tiny bow and arrows as adorable trophies.
After the battle Corinth using his mighty weatherman powers says there’s a storm coming and it’s going to be nasty. Trying to make it back to the hut for a little shelter they try to navigate the storm,. Unfortunately Corinth’s navigating is not as a good as his weather predicting and eventually the party is forced to try and make an igloo and ride out the storm. Burning torches to try and stay warm they wake to find all of their horses have died. Natalia having an emotional breakdown while trying to skin her own horse and Hayley not enjoying the weather retreat to the safety of the igloo. After Corinth and Layanos finish the job they bring the skins and meat into the shelter. After having a good idea to insulate the shelter with the horse skin and burn enough torches to not freeze to death the team decides to ride out the storm.
When the storm finally breaks they emerge looking like hell covered in soot and smelling like burnt horse and leather they decide to head back to the hut and eventually the trading post to recover and finish up the winter and safety. The trip back to Oleg’s is uneventful and they arrive at the trading post a couple days later.
The next couple weeks fly by and are the easiest they’ve had since arriving. Layanos spends his time meditating and playing with his tubby rat Douglas who seems to be enjoying the relaxation and Svetlana’s cooking more than anyone, except maybe Natalia who seems to be making “friends” with a handsome guard/guards. Needless to say Oleg and Svetlana’s shack isn’t the only one that’s rocking every night. While Hayley seems to be making friends with some of the guards she either keeps her affairs quite secret or threatens to kill anyone making accusations. Corinth takes time to improve his swordplay (wink wink nudge nudge), and also duels the Captain of the guard after a close and enjoyable match the captain shows his experience and prowess with the blade and defeats Corinth, But Corinth being a good sportsman takes the chance to learn and grow in the art he practices.
Interval for all the secret sharing and plotting
At some point Natalia’s lover starts acting weird, Layanos really has no idea why, he ponders to himself that maybe Hayley has something to do with it who knows.
More secret sharing and plotting
The team then sets out in the direction of their old bandit buddies. On the way they come across a dark cave, thinking that whatever was in there would probably come back to bite them in the ass they decide to leave it alone for now and keep heading toward the bandit camp. Not even sure if the bandits are still in the area that they once occupied Hayley and to Hayley’s disdain Natalia seat of to scout again. Arriving at the camp Natalia tries to sneak straight into the open once again demonstrating her ability to walk straight into the maw of hell for the case of curiosity or gypsy air headed-ness who knows for sure. After every bandit in sight sees her she starts trying to make excuses about how she stumbled into the middle of a bandit camp. At this point Hayley makes a break for it possibly with a slight grin on her face headed back toward the guys to maybe help or maybe leave her.
Natalia using all of her eyeball eating gypsy prowess of lying makes the bandits believe that she is from a caravan that is east of the bandits and that she got lost. The bandit queen and the bandits capture her and proceed to take her away to capture her imaginary caravan. The rest of the team show up what could only be moments after the bandits left to find the camp being guarded by a couple stragglers they swiftly dispatch one and put the other to sleep to interrogate when he awakens.
What will happen in our next bungling episode? Will the party arrive in time to avoid awkward terrible things happening to Natalia? Will they vanquish the bandit burs from the area? Will Douglas cut back on his food to lose some weight and avoid a terrible case of rat diabetes? Tune in next time to find out in The really dangerous tale of Kingmaker!