Monday, September 9, 2013

Wilds - Out and a Scout!

After the fight with the giant ticks, the party decided to head back to the spire, south to the road, and then east along its more clearly marked path in hopes of finding known terrain. This plan leads them east northeast for just over a day, where they find vault hill, the place they found the weird shapes and the key that unlocked the spire. Emboldened by this discovery, they head out northwest, along the other fork of the road that leads away from the hill. After passing through the ruins of what might have been stone-walled huts or a farm with several outbuildings, the road ends. Undeterred, the group continues northwest, hoping to reacquire the trail. Instead they find a grisly skull, probably a kobold or goblin, stuck on a post next to a narrow trail.

Leaving the others behind to establish a camp, Ingvild, Dagmarten, Maro, and Mordikarr, along with his animal friends, head north to explore the skull-marked trail. The plan: scout cautiously to see if they can determine who made the trail and marker. Return by dusk at the latest.

They're back before then. Maro describes the journey. "Well it's not a game trail. We saw definite signs of human-sized tracks. Hard to say how many though, the tracks were old and faint, like they were wearing soft shoes. The trail turns northeast a few miles to the north, skirting the edge of more open ground. That's where we found the trap."

"Trap?" asks Durego, concern in his voice. "Anyone hurt?"

"No, Ingvild spotted it before we set it off, but it's a nasty thing; a pit full of wooden spikes covered with a woven mat of vines and branches. Mordikarr says Suren smelled blood too, so it's probably been used. Beyond that the trail split, one branch heading out into the open ground, the other following the wood's edge. We didn't see anything in the open, so we followed the wooded trail. After another trap, this one a spiked log suspended beside the trail, we slowed down to avoid injury. Shortly after that, Mordikarr smelled smoke. Ingvild crept ahead, toward a big rock outcropping, twenty-feet high or more, the beginning or ending of a hill."

The thief interrupts, "I saw a log wall built into the outcropping, about thirty feet long, with a single gate in the center. It looked like it enclosed a cave. There was a bit of smoke trickling out near the top. I watched for half an hour but no one came in or out. I heard something that might have been voices, but I couldn't tell who or what it was. What might have been dogs too."

Mordikarr nods at this. "Suren say wolfs. Two, maybe three."

"One other thing," says Dagmarten. "On the way back, we branched off where the trail split into the open. We didn't go far, but I saw a few patches of herbs and other plants that don't usually grow wild in the open like that. They were protected with woven grass fences, and well-hidden. Whoever lives there is growing food."

"So what can we conclude?" asks Ohwatoo rhetorically. Ra├║guey opens his mouth to answer, but the mage continues before he can interrupt. "One, there's probably more than one of them. Building a wall of logs like Ingvild describes is not a one-man (or one-goblin) operation. Two, that they are civilized enough to engage in agriculture. Three, that they're defending themselves against someone or something else. Four, that they visit this location. Aside from the obvious trail, there's also the fact that Locky found a few snares scattered around this glade. That leads to my final question, do we really want to camp here?"

PS: Don't forget a bunch of PBE Games stuff is on sale for the next 1d6-1 days.

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