Against the Wilderness

Oct 5th

Beta starts to rummage through the dead kobold’s pouches, but the Chief stops him, verbally. After a bit of back and forth, the Chief chuckles, and says Beta can have the potions from the dead kobolds, but not the prisoners.

The Chief explains a bit of who Tartuk is, and what he was doing to the tribe, and lets the players have anything found it Tartuk’s foot locker.

What they found was seven arrows that matched the three they had found earlier, a diary written in Gnomish, a scroll, and a pair of Boots of Elvenkind.

They found the route Tartuk used to escape, but only Etterskel could fit, and even then he had to squeeze. After several hundred feet, he came out of a narrow cave to a ledge above the river. There was no way down or sideways, but there was a fairly easy way up, a short (10-12 foot) climb to the top of the bluff.

After Et returned to the cave, the party decided to go after Tartuk. They found his tracks, and followed them, only to have them mysteriously disappear.

After they go back to the Chief empty handed, they talk a bit and learn that some of the Stag Lord’s men had been sighted to the west, but that the territory was home to a “terror bird”. The party takes NakPik, one of the kobolds who had seen the bandits, to show them where the tracks were.

While they were searching, a circling hawk lead them to a trapped ranger at the bottom of a pit. She too was hunting the terror bird, for it killed her partner. However, she had a broken leg, and so was put on a horse to help look, but not fight.

The found the ten foot tall terror bird eating the carcass of a wild dog, and charged in to attack.
The bird nearly eviscerated Adaryn, but it was then quickly brought down.

The party then began the process of skinning the bird, with an eye to making rations out of it.

Oh yeah, and Beta was made the new shaman of the kobold tribe.

XP: 275

Treasure: flame arrows, scroll, Boots of Elvenkind

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Sept. 28th
Into the kobold caverns

After the wolf attack, the party decides to spend a few days exploring some of the countryside. Other than the tracks of a large herd of horses, they don’t find much of interest, so they decide to finally take MikMek back to his people.
He leads them to a bould strewn area, and points to a gap between two particular rocks.

“Cave in there, we go in now”.

Hucklebuddy offers another idea: “How’s about you get them to come out.”

MikMek doesn’t think this is a good plan, and eventually everyone gives in and goes with him. They follow him through a tunnel, past a mite caged in the hall.

Hucklebuddy, again, offers his opinion. He tries to get the mite freed, while MikMek tells him it is tribal business, and he should butt out. Huckle disagrees, and kicks the cage, destroying it, and freeing the mite. The mite makes a run for it, but ends up falling in a pit trap. Hucklebuddy tries to help the mite, but falls in a different pit.

The kobold who had been guarding the mite raises an alarm, and the party is quickly surrounded. About half the warriors are decorated with purple dye somewhere about their face or armor. The party is told to move down the hall. Most of them do. Eterskell does not. The kobolds, not willing to go against tribal custom, strongly urge him to follow his comrades. He holds out. They are just about to act out summary judgement when they hear a cry.

For as Eterskell had been giving them the evil eye, perhaps letting is racial hatred of reptilians cloud his thinking, MikMek and the rest of the heroes had met the chief of the tribe in the great hall, along with the shaman and his honor guard.

MikMek approaches the Chief, and tells of how the tall pale folk rescued him, and gave him back the Staring Box, and also returned one more thing. Before he revealed the third thing, MikMek was nervously eyeing the purple hued shaman, but then decided to tell the Chief anyway.

“They gave me this” he said, holding out a vicious looking statue.

The Chief’s and the shaman’s eyes both light up at the sight. The Chief runs forward and graps the statue, raises it up, and smashes it to the ground. The shaman screams in outrage. The Chief yells out to his followers to kill the purple marked kobolds, and a melee ensues.

The shaman also yells out, but his yell summons forth a demonic looking creature (a spitting image of the statue), which proceeds to rip into anything near it with no distinction. It lays out kobold and hero alike.

In the ensuing melee, many kobolds on both sides fall, and the Chief comes near death. The shaman runs away, and the party eventually drives off the devil-thing.

XP: 583

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Sept. 21
cleaning up the mite lair

The first part of the evening was spent re-equipping Hucklebuddy, and trying to identify and/or appraise the various items that have accumulated during the explorations.

After that was done, and the mayor of Rushbottle made it clear that, while there were no ill feelings, they party needed to GTFO, since they no longer had a halfling in their number. There was also the matter of the kobold, whose name they learned was MikMek. Most of the halfling village wanted to kill him, but Pollisera insisted he was not to be harmed. The party took his safekeeping as an excuse to leave the village on their own terms, before they were escorted out by the Wood Riders.

Since his rescue, MikMek had been swept up in the events that landed him in Rushbottle, and really had no idea how to get back to his tribe. He suggested finding a moon radish patch, which he could use as a landmark, but the party had other ideas. They asked him about the mites, and learned he was a warrior sent to retrieve several items that the mites had stolen. He could then lead the party to his people’s caves that way. MikMek did not like this idea, since it in no way involved radishes.

The party went back to the mite caves anyhow, and explored the one room they had left previously, which was the egg room. They found the young centipedes guarding the nests, and dispatched them, then proceeded to break the eggs. When that was done, MikMek again tried to get the party to go to the radish patch, and this time he was successful.

As they neared a pile of large rocks, which MikMek said was the landmark for the veggie patch, they began to see bodies of dead mites, as if a battle had taken place. They found a small group of kobolds laying in the sun on the other side of the boulders. One kobold tried to stand up and confront the group, but decided against it when it realized it could barely stand straight, and that none of its companions could stand at all. MikMek was very happy to see more of his kind, but he seemed even happier to see the radishes. N’name identified the them as ‘moon radishes’, which are prized by frontier cooks as natural sweeteners, much cheaper than imported sugar and more filling than honey (not to mention no threat of bee stings). MikMek lustily began eating one, and he gave some to Scout and Hucklebuddy. Scout saved hers for later, while Hucklebuddy ate enough to begin to feel inebriated. Thus he discovered the secret of the moon radish: they naturally ferment themselves while still on the vine.

The party decided against letting their kobold friend end up like his brethren, and pulled him away from the radish patch to lead them to his tribal home. As the night began to fall, he showed them a kobold campsite. They managed to fit themselves into a gouge in a rocky hillside, and settled in for the night. It soon began to rain, and in the dark drizzle, a commotion arose from the picketed horses: wolves were attacking.

The party roused themselves up, and fought the wolves, killing four and driving one more away.

We stopped there, in the rain, with the horses scattered. Fortunately, Roneth had been doing the horse-watching thing for a while, and the horses were all hobbled, so they can’t get too far.

XP: 433

Treasure: none

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treasure from last session
and xp reminder

Everyone there got 628 xp.

Daryl, in case you didn’t hear last night, start at 1st level with half XP to second.

Here’s the jewelry you found, it’s all medium size and mundane: Necklace, gold with chalcedony 137gp; Gold ring with choral, 95gp; Platinum ring with black pearl 231gp; Necklace, gold chain 139gp; Armbands, silver set with moonstone 130gp; Armbands, silver with Onyx 186gp; Armbands, gold with deep blue spinel 494gp; Necklace, gold with red spinel; Necklace, silver with Alexandrite 485gp; Earrings, silver 111gp; Armbands, silver with golden pearl 214gp

Loose gems: Chrysoberyl 52gp, Rhodochrosite 1gp, Azurite 3gp, Tigereye 4gp, Silver pearl 81gp, Tourmaline 87gp, Agate 6gp, Freshwater (irregular) pearl 5gp, Blue quartz 1gp, Malachite 1gp, Agate 2gp,

Fine woolen cloak, dyed emerald green, embroidered in gold and silver thread in a Katapeshi pattern, with what should be white fur trim, but the whole thing is crusted in filth.

climber’s kit, lock of good quality, shovel, wooden holy symbol (Gorum), crowbar, 2 lbs caltrops (enough for one 5’ square)

2 Potions, as yet unidentified, several glass bottles (suitable for putting potions in, currently empty), flask of whisky

over 50 small darts, dozens of shabby daggers and knives, 16gp, 40 sp, 134 cp

12 Flasks of Acid, 6 Flasks Alchemist’s Fire. 4 Potion of CLW

Small items: masterwork dagger, masterwork longspear, masterwork buckler

There was also a scroll, but that has been used on the reincarnated Hucklebuddy.

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Sept. 14
he's a Time Lord?

We picked up in the mite’s common room, the party bloody and battered. Ahead of them, through an upward sloping tunnel, waited at least two mites, but most certainly more. From the chasm behind them, they began to hear loud skittering noises. N’name went to investigate, and saw a twenty-foot long centipede making it’s way up the crevasse. The party, who had been organizing for an assault up the tunnel, decided to turn to confront the new menace.

The centipede, which was a truly Huge specimen, entered the cavern, and our hero’s sprung into action, easily avoiding the creature’s attacks of opportunity. N’name, through a daring use of tactics, stood on the rope bridge behind the vermin, allowing his compatriots to perform a three unit flanking maneuver. As they engaged the multi-legged horror, two mites and the sickly dog-looking creature began attacking from the tunnel. One of the mites was the glowing mited Hucklebuddy had “befriended” earlier, and stinging from the perceived betrayal, Hucklebuddy took one last stab at the centipede before going to deal with the mite. It was the last stab he would make, as the gigantic mandibles nearly sliced him in twain as he tried to move away.

Shocked at their beloved halfling’s fall, the rest of the party crushed the centipede and the mites, just in time for another quartet of mites, these burlier looking than the rest, came into the fray. These mites quickly tried to surround Robin, but couldn’t quite, since one of them had to attack Scout. Scout was soon removed from the equation, however, and Robin decided to choose the better part of valor, and joined N’name and Beta on the rope bridge, where they had discovered they could stand upright and attack with ease.

After one mite fell to Beta’s spells, the other three moved to the edge of the bridge to fight the party, as their chief, clad in a flowing emerald cloak, rode his mighty steed (a giant cave tick) slowly into the fight (highlighting the perils of riding giant vermin in tight areas). The mite leader eventually joined the combat with his longspear, but by that time his guard was dead, and it was just him against the party. Not having much luck with his spear, he rode his tick forward to attack, and one bite of the insect struck Robin down. Beta and N’name made a valiant stand, learning the properties of the magic arrows in the process. They brought down the tick, which enraged the head mite, who continued to attack, dropping N’name. It then became a duel between the mite and the sorcerer, each one stepping forward and back to get the advantage, Beta using the spear’s reach against the mite, getting inside it’s defense, and in this way killing him.

Looking around the cavern for magic, Beta spied several potions, and trusting the fates to be kind, poured one into N’name. The potion did it’s work, healing and reviving the elf, who then helped get the other unconscious members of the party up. They took stock of the valuable items, gathered them up, and left the underground lair.

Upon exiting the lair, and already mourning Hucklebuddy, they rescued halfling, Pollisera, informed them that, if they could take his body to her village, she had the means to bring him back, in a way. Through the means of reincarnation, she could return Hucklebuddy’s mind, although it would be in a different body. They proceed in all haste to the village of Rushbottle, sweeping the rescued kobold along with them in their hurry.

Once in the village, there is great joy at the return of their druid, although it is tempered with sadness at the loss of Hucklebuddy, though as Pollisera explains her plan, that sadness is washed away by hope. She quickly takes his body into her hut, as several Wood Riders quickly surround the kobold, who puts up no resistance.

For an hour, the party and villagers waited outside the druids hut, as she chanted the ritual, and ancient magics did their work. Afterward, Pollisera came out of the hut, pale and perplexed, while a moment later a naked half-orc squeezed through the door.

“Hi etherythody”, it said in a deep voice, it’s speech garbled by unfamiliar tusks, “it’th me, Hucklethuddy!”

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Sept. 7
in which the party rescues a halfling

After some closer inspection, Scout determined that the cave they were in was, in fact, the mouth of a gold mine, and furthermore, the entrance tunnel had been caved in deliberately. Several party members were interested in immediate excavations, but they were swayed backed in the direction of finding the missing halflings, but everyone made a mental note to return to the gold cave.

The search could not resume immediately due to a cold and steady rain, so the party camped overnight. Next morning they resumed their northerly march, following a set of tracks that they concluded belonged to halflings’ dog and weasel. While on this track, they saw another set of tracks, of at least 6 small creatures, believed to be the mites they were warned about. The mites seemed to be headed toward the fangberry patch.

After a few miles, the party discovered a campsite, about a week old, that showed the signs of a struggle. The party discovered drag marks, and upon following them, came across the carcass of the dire weasel, which had been picked over by the carrion birds. From the weasel lead tracks of the mites and halflings, and so the party continued onwards. At one point, a small group of mites went off easterly, but the party paid them no mind, and followed the group with the halfling.

Soon, the party was lead into a gully between two hills. The party decided that some members should stay in the gully following the tracks, while other members should walk along the rim. Nox, in the ravine, avoided a tripwire trap that Scout then disabled. Just afterward they were ambushed by five mites and another creature. They killed the mites but the other thing disappeared. Hucklebuddy was able to revive one mite, which, through a clever pantomime, he was able to get to lead them to the mite’s hive, beneath the roots of an old sycamore tree.

While in the confines of the tunnels and caverns below, the party fought through several rooms of mites, as well as one centipede, as they looked for the halflings. Eventually, they found the halflings, one of whom, Pollisera, the druid, was still alive. Upon her rescue, she asked Scout to also rescue a kobold, whom she called her friend. (The kobold, for his part, wanted to partake in the slaughter of mites, but was taken down by a thrown dart. Pollisera was seen binding his latest wound.)

The group had just fought nearly a dozen mites in what appeared to be a the sleeping area and common room, and were regrouping for the push into the next room when we suspended gaming for the night.

Individual XP: 614 (yes, you can level up your character, but no wounds heal and you will not get new spells until you rest)

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Aug. 31
In which the party goes fishing

After the battle with the cooking pot, the party exits the dark cave to find their manservant, Roneth, talking to the trapper with the wolf companion. He seemed surprised that they had fought the cauldron, because he would have thought they would just leave the cave, like he did the when he found out it was alive. After passing some minutes chatting, the party leaves the trapper. They make their way to the Thorn River, with plans to cross it there, then explore some miles south, and cross the river again while exploring westerly.

Hucklebuddy begins his crossing much as he has done before, making easy progress, drifting with the lazy current of the river. He feels a sense of calm elation at being in the river, and a quiet pride as he smoothly propels himself through the dark water. As he nears the opposite shore, his feeling of wellness, of tranquility, is shattered by a sharp pain in his leg. He twists around in the water to find a fish, double his size, has decided to make a meal of him.

Back on shore, N’name and Beta notice their little friend is in some sort of distress, and take up the rope to pull him back to shore. What follows is an epic three-way battle:, the fish moving inexorably upstream, his dagger-like teeth buried in the flesh of the halfling’s calf; Hucklebuddy, thrashing against his attacker, trying to desperately to stay afloat; his friends, on the riverbank, heaving as mightily as they can to bring him in safely. As the seconds ticked by, it looked like the gar was going to win, and make a meal of the halfling, as he went under one final time, but at the very last second, N’name and Beta were able to heal him enough for him to swim to the surface, and then proceed to yank him and the fish up onto dry land. As the halflilng caught his breath on the embankment, the fish flopped back into the water, but as it was begining to swim away, an arrow shot out of the trees downstream, an arrow with a thin rope tied to it, holding the fish in place.

Thinking quickly, the group rushed over to the trees, whereupon they found an unfamiliar halfling holding the other end of the rope, which was alternately threatening to either slip through his fingers or pull him into the river. “Hello,” said the halflilng, “my name is Silas. I don’t suppose you could help here, could you?” he asked, sweat beading on his brow.

Acting together, the two humans and two halflings were able to make quick work of dragging the fish back onto land, where Hucklebuddy proceeded to take his revenge on the fish. Afterward, their new friend lead them through the forest, taking hidden trails and winding many times back and forth, to a large hedge, a ten foot high wall of thorns. Once within this wall, they were introduced to the hamlet of Rushbottle, a halflings-only settlement hidden on the banks of the Thorn River.

The folk of Rushbottle were friendly, for the most part, one or two seemed to dislike the larger folk of the party on principle, while one person took a disliking to Hucklebuddy, because he thought Huck stole his saddle. Wishing to persuade this gentleman otherwise, Hucklebuddy gave him the saddle and bought an old beat-up one from the village (please remember to subtract 8gp from your wealth, Daryl). Hucklebuddy also attracted the attention of several young lassies, who are currently unattached and of marriageable age. One of these maids is Polliarra, the local druid-in-training.

During the festivities, the party learned about several threats in the surrounding areas, including a lurking spider and a tribe of creatures known as mites. These two hazards lay between Rushbottle and a potion maker named Bokken, who lives near the South Rostland Road. It is feared that one or the other perils have claimed the lives of two members of the village, Mendila Tosscobble (one of the rangers known as the Woodriders), and Pollisera Bumblehill, the village druid and Polliarra’s mother.

The party agreed to look for the missing halflings, and set out the next day.

As the group traveled northerly, the see a small herd of elk in the distance. As they watch, they see something erupt from the ground and take down a young elk. Searching somewhere else, they found the remains of a campsite, several days old. They found some tracks that headed, unfortunately, back toward the spider lair.

Determined, or perhaps more resigned, to find the missing halflings, they confronted the spider, and after a few hits it was dead, and they were not. They descended into the spider’s hole, and found naught but a desiccated human body (upon which nothing was of note other than a shortsword, a map, and an amulet) and caved-in tunnel entrance.

Relieved to not be a spider’s meal, the group continued their search. About four miles east of the spider they found a crack in some rocks, and within the rocks was a cave. Within the cave was an arthropod that shot a thin, sticky filament at the intrepid Hucklebuddy, who once again was the point man on the mission. Through the might of the elven cleric the party was able to defeat this monster as well. A search of the cave revealed another collapsed tunnel entrance, as well has some yellowish flecks of rock. No one was able to identify said flecks, however, so it’s probably nothing worth remembering.

The party was trying to figure out if the cave was a good resting spot when we left off.

XP per person: 467

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Aug. 24
An old nuisance dealt with

Upon waking the morning after fleeing the troll, the party decides to continue exploring the area, heading back in the general direction they had chased the troll. They find a river and follow it to a lake. As they approached the lake, they heard the pitiable whimpering of an animal, and found a fox, a silverfoot fennec*, caught in a trap. While Nox was trying to soothe the creature, he was hit by a crossbow bolt. Roughly half the party decided to chase the shooter, while Nox, Etterskel, and Adaryn stayed behind to help the fox. The crossbowman, who had been hiding in the bushes, decided not to fight the party, and instead ran away, leading the group on a chase through the woods. He made it across a small stream, which proved to be a difficult obstacle for Robin and the bear, Onyx. They were able to catch up a bit when their quarry had difficulty crossing a fallen log. When Onyx finally did reach his prey, Nox commanded him to sit, which he did, right on the bad guy.

When the rest of the party caught up, they discovered that their prisoner was none other than Breeg Olivarch, a notorious trapper who caused Robin much anguish when she stepped into one of his bear traps. After he told what he knew of the Stag Lord (not much, only that he didn’t live in the forest), he was put to death by Robin’s sword.

The party then decided to continue exploring, and in a small swampy area of the lakeside they were attacked by three giant frogs. One of them came close to eating Hucklebuddy, but was killed before it could truly swallow him.

The next day, the party was still exploring the wilderness, when they discovered what they first thought was a barrow, but later turned out to be an ancient temple, with a defaced summoning circle on the floor, and strange writings on the walls. On a dais was a caudron, and within the cauldron was something glittering. Hucklebuddy tried to look into the pot, at which time it came alive and swallowed him. The rest of the party surrounded the cauldron and tried to get Huck out, but not before it also swallowed Etterskel. A crashing blow from Robin split the pot in twain, and the small folk tumbled out, Hucklebuddy clutching a dagger (though for him it was more like a short sword) that was strangely clean, despite being in a container with moldy dampness.

XP per person: 343

Items found: magic dagger, 3 magic arrows, potion of bull’s strength, unidentified potion, 63 gold, masterwork studded leather, longsword, 2 handaxes, masterwork heavy crossbow, 19 bolts.

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Treasure gained so far...
...as I remember it

mundane: longswords, bucklers, bows, handaxes, over 200 arrows, a dozen horses, various cold weather and camping supplies, a dozen or so bear traps, several sets of leather and studded leather armor, a composite longbow (Str +2), a pound or so of fangberries (you may wish to read over their description on the wiki, I think there was some miscommunitation somewhere)

of masterwork quality you have: one set of studded leather (from Happs), two handaxes (from Kressle), one chain shirt (from under the Singing Tree), one battleaxe (from dead barbarian)

of magic: one scythe +1 (Harvester), one Ring (greenish, frog & eel fighting, from barbarian cairn), one apple (since eaten), a potion of Lesser Restoration, an unknown potion in a green glass jar with a silver stopper, another Ring, walnut carved with image of dancing satyr

of particular value or interest: silver stopper, 34 platinum pieces, a silver hand mirror with an ebony handle, a bone hairbrush with dire boar bristles, carved with various fey images on the back , owlbear hide, bent golden circlet, gold cloak clasp, in the shape of a smilodon head

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Aug. 10
Searching along the Thorn

After the fight with the owlbear, the group decides to head up river and do some more exploration. They enter an area of the forest that seems preternaturally peaceful-while they find many tracks of rabbit, deer, and other small animals, they don’t see any signs of predators, and few of humanoids. Hucklebuddy likes the area so much he says he wants to chop down all the trees and make a fort there. Seconds later, the party was dancing to an eerie tune played on unseen fiddles, while another invisible force lead the horses away from the area. Roneth reacts badly to this, and begins talking of hauntings. When pressed to explain, he tells of a hut on the north side of the river, that Kressle considered making her base, until strange goings-on convinced her to leave. The group decides to swim the river to the other side, and check on this haunted hut, because, as Robin points out, “that sounds totally safe”.

Nox, using is affinity to nature, has surmised the ‘hauntings’ are actually the actions of fairies, and decides to placate them by making an offering. The group does so in a haphazard manner, with Hucklebuddy trying to remove the platinum coinage Nox was offering, and only putting in a few coppers of his own. In the night, the fairies expressed their displeasure by spoiling his ale-cask with rancid milk. The next night, the party makes another offering, this time with more pomp and circumstance (except for Huckle, who scoffs at the whole goings-on), and overnight the goods disappear. When Huckle awakes, he has been painted pink with berry juice.

They group decides to continue following the river to it’s source, and on the way they meet Cheslav, a young man from the village of Levoca. He thanks them for their actions against the Hollow Man, and tells them of his woes with the budjen, which is local-speak for fairy. It seemed they had been cutting his fishing nets. Nox suspected that it was because he was over-fishing, so he advised the young man to cut back, and perhaps make a respectful offering to the fair folk.

Later that day they found the source of the Thorn, a large pond fed by a spring. Hucklebuddy takes a swim and finds some ancient bones and weapons at the bottom of the pond. After collecting anything useful, they interr the bones in a more formal manner.

The party ventures to the border of the wood the next day, and come across some very small hillocks where the trees meet the grasses. Nox spies a tiny half-cricket/half-woman, who hints to him that he should investigate a pile of rocks hidden by a blackberry bush. He does, and finds the cairn of what they guess is a barbarian chieftan. Onyx had also done some excavating, and found a smaller cairn of a barbarian warrior. Again the party collected salvageable items, and re-buried the dead. As they were doing this work, they saw what was unmistakeably a unicorn watching them from a distance.

After the first uneventful night in weeks, the party moves into another forested area, where they find old menhirs, covered in weathered inscriptions. They party respectfully leaves the place to continue exploring, and they discover a decapitated troll body, as well as a spare troll arm. The surrounding trees and ground have signs of acid burns. Nox does some searching for tracks, and comes to the disturbing conclusion that there are not as many non-troll tracks as there should be. What tracks he did find were sharply taloned. He also found the tracks of the second troll heading east into the woods, so Hucklebuddy decided they would hunt it down.

Following the tracks as stealthily as they could, the group found the troll hiding behind a tree, apparently trying to ambush them. Since neither the troll or the group were very good at keeping hidden, the fight began without anyone at an advantage.

Nox threw a fireball at the troll, which angered it, and Robin and the troll closed into combat. The troll scored a good hit on Robin, knocking her in the head with a claw. It was then that she saw the troll’s right arm ended in a stump below the elbow. A few more blows are traded, but it is clear that the party is outmatched. The retreat is sounded, and Roneth starts a wildfire to keep the troll from following. The troll runs off, and Nox hurriedly puts out the fire.

XP is 200 each, for role-playing and exploration

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