They day after the party met Kesten’s squad, he asked if they would help haul logs they had prepared back to the trading post, and to aid in making some improvements to the place. Robin told her half-cousin that they had other business in the wilds, and then went out to look for bandits. While they were exploring the plains to the the immediate south of Oleg’s, they met a hunter, though they did not ask for his name. When asked about bandits, he said he didn’t know any, but that he did know a group of woods folk that camped out on an island it the Thorn River. The party deduced that this was the camp they had already found, and asked him about any other camps. He said he knew of some, but would only take Robin to them, not anyone else. While some in the party were okay with that, Robin herself was not, so they let the hunter continue on to Oleg’s.
After camping for the night on the plains, they explorers went into the forest, and found a tangled expanse of sharp, thorny brambles. The brambles were actually fangberry bushes, so the druid decided to collect some, but then thought better of it when a swarm of spiders descended on him.
While the druid was harvesting berries (which were unseasonably early) Camrad the luggage bearer stepped away to relieve himself. Unfortunately he was not paying attention to what he was doing, and an assassin vine grabbed ahold of him and began killing him. His truncated scream attracted the attention of the rest of the group, who altruistically decided to save him. Many of the group became entangled in the underbrush that the vine enchanted, but Aderyn got close enough to hit it, but before she did, the vine tried to whomp her with Camrad’s body. When that fail, he dropped the dean man to better fight the party.
During the fight, Nox and Robin struggled bitterly against the entangling foliage, until Nox remembered what a scythe was used for and began mowing his way out. The assassin vine grabbed Aderyn, and within a few seconds she was near death. Etterskel rode bravely forward, but he too was grappled and squeezed unconscious. Finally, Robin, Hucklebuddy, and Nox were able to take the plant down.
During camp that night, while Robin and Aderyn were on watch, they believed that T-rex had found their campsite. Nox, seeing that the lizard was not attacking, and being ever optimistic, decided to exhibit some empathy toward the creature. As he was doing so, he noticed that when the rex breathed on him, there was no air, and concluded, correctly, that he faced an illusion. After he tried to see or hear the caster of the illusion, a series of lights began dancing near the camp. Etterskel responded with his own lights, and the first set began leading the party into the woods. They were lead back to the island camp in the Thorn River, only to find one of the bandit sentries blood eagled over the fire pit, a stag’s head jammed on the pommel of his sword.
They day after that, the group explored the area around the island, found and lost some tracks, and decided to cross the river. Hucklebuddy, a true river rat, swam a rope across, which greatly help everyone else cross. They were even able to get the horses across with the help of Nox’s skill with animals.
Once across the river, the group looked for a suitable place to camp, but first found a feeding owlbear. Enraged at having his dinner interrupted, the beast attacked, but got himself wedged between some trees in his rage. The group surrounded him, and he went down relatively quickly. Etterskel, having already appropriated the stag’s head for a helm ornament, decided that a owlbear cloak would go with it quite well, so they flayed the monster and put the skin on the horses. Robin, who was injured in the battle, got into a philosophical, theological, and tactical debate with Hucklebuddy, with the fate of her future healing in doubt.
XP for the night is 550 (from the owlbear, vine, roleplaying, and exploration)