Taking their leave of the Sootscales, the Greenbelt Defenders head northwest, back to the gold mine. As evening approaches, they see smoke on the other side of the outcropping where the mine lay. Approaching stealthily at first, they call out, to no response. Rounding the outcropping, they find the smoker torn open and the elk meat taken. Jane and Vincze determine that there were a group of men here, more than a day ago, and Vinzce finds a silver stag amulet pressed into the mud of a bootprint.
The group spends the night in the mine. Nothing happens.
It takes the better part of a day to get back to Oleg’s. Oleg is out in the field, working on clearing the land for a field. Keston and his men have given up on building the bunkhouse, and have set their tents up outside the stockade. They patrol the walls and watch for trouble. Inside, a grizzled man with a mangled arm tacks a notice up on the wall outside the stable. Svetlana Leveton speaks with a distinctively-dressed man [Vincze: whom Vincze recognizes is dressed] in the livery of Brevoy, while Cass enters the bunkhouse with a stoneware basin in his hands and some clean cloth draped over his arm.
Krystos goes to speak with Oleg, returning Svetlana’s ring. Overjoyed, Oleg hugs the sorcerer and offers 1000gp in credit, promising a celebratory feast that evening. He and Krystos head into the post.
Inside, Svetlana spies the basket of moon radishes in Jane’s arms. She introduces Jane and Vincze to Rada Pendulfsen, an emissary from The Swordlords of Brevoy. Rada presents Vincze with a reward for taking care of the bandits in the Greenbelt, while Svetlana has Jane help her inside. Svetlana promises a feast to celebrate their return and to regale the emissary with their tales.
Returning with Oleg, Krystos speaks to the grizzled man with the mangled arm, inquiring about the bounty poster. The man, a hunter by name of Vekkel Benzen tells the sorcerer the tale of a boar named Tuskgutter Quest Log. Something of a legend among the hunters and trappers of the area, the boar was responsible for mangling Vekkel’s arm. With little use for his finely-crafted bow, the hunter is putting it and a quiver of magical arrows as a reward for the creature’s head. He also promises some of the head cheese he plans to make.
Jane steps into the bunkhouse to check on Cass. She finds the ex-bandit and Jhod tending to a man. Jhod explains the man got caught in a bear trap in the woods. He managed to escape from it, but passed out from the infection and pain. Fortunately, a couple hunters brought him in. Jhod had to amputate the man’s leg, but with prayers to Erastil, and the healing ministrations of the two, the man will recover. Half-legged Tottes
At the evening’s feast, Svetlana brings out the soup, which causes Oleg to beam, and kneel down before her with the ring. There is a celebration of their love. Following that, Rada thanks the group for their service against the bandits, and promises a larger reward if the kobold menace stays under control. He also brings out a bounty poster. Stag Lord, Wanted Dead or Alive! Offering a substantial reward for his capture or slaying. Quest Log [Vincze: Recognizing Rada’s power and position, Vincze spends no small amount of time chatting him up, even telling his fortune (gratis)].
Oleg, swept up in the moment, jumps on the table and begins singing a rousing song about the silly antics of a drunk Tatzlwurm. After the song, he announces he thinks it a great idea if there were a tatzlewurm head to mount above the door to the trading post, and offers a reward for it. Quest Log
The next day, Vincze and Jane spend the day writing [Vincze: …scribing scrolls, to better prepare ourselves for our next big adventure. Vincze scribes a total of 4 scrolls, while Jane scribes 6]. Krystos spends some time talking to a group of trappers that stop by in the morning. He learns a couple things:
- Tuskgutter tore two of the trappers apart just a couple days ago southwest of the Thorn River Camp…what is now called Epitaph
- the trappers fled north and camped near a cliff with a carving of a stag
Another night passes. The next morning, Jane, Krystos and Tad wake to find Vincze gone with a note from her stating, the stars told me I have to go fishing . They leave word with Oleg that they are heading for the radish patch and plan on camping there for the evening.
They reach the radish patch and settle in. Jane wants to befriend an elk. Her tracking senses tell her the elk have been here, that they like the radish greens. And so they wait.
While they wait, Vincze makes her way to an area away from Oleg’s where she can perform the ritual she designed [Vincze: Actually, it was taught to me by my late mother, Vincze The Elder] to empower Trixie. The ritual takes hours, and after the ritual, she looks up to see herself surrounded by kobolds [Vincze: with green scales]. Kobolds that want to eat her and Trixie.
She bolts and makes it to her horse. As she rides away, two arrows catch her in her neck and chest, almost laying her low.
Meanwhile, night falls at the radish patch. As they watch, Jane spies an elk stepping into the clearing. It scents the air and steps forward, leaning down to nibble the greens.
Just then, the elk startles and bolts into the woods as Vincze, dressed in a very bloodstained dress, comes careening out of the darkness, calling for help. Once the others calm her down, and remove the arrows from her, they realize she is almost on death’s door. But they also realize that Trixie is glowing with a faint luminescence….and looks silvery….with gold eyes. [Vincze: Vincze explains to the rest of the party that she disappeared to perform a magical ritual, taught to her by her late mother, to infuse Trixie with celestial energy… transforming her into a Celestial Rabbit].
The Defenders camp the night in the radish patch, and in the morning, Jane seduces an elk buck. [Vincze: Tad places a crown of branches lopsidedly on its antlers, and Jane names him Yakul (Elke for short). She announces that she plans to eventually have him as her mount.]