June 25, 2013
We were less than a day out from our destination, Kendall Keep.
The caravan we were in, which was owned by Mendel, consisted of a number of wagons of goods, a caged leucrotta, and several cages of humans. We were told that these humans were convicted criminals who were sold into slavery. Three of them came down with fever after we left the fishing village and died. There were buried at the last crossroad east of Kendall Keep. Mendel had his people fix placards on the graves that read “Plague”. Surely not an ominous sign or anything. The priest, Tharsis of Easting, starting feeling bad as well. We naturally assumed the two issues were unrelated and without any thought or care for the possibility of bringing the plague into Kendall Keep, we arrived there merrily shortly thereafter.
As we approached the keep, we were startled by a cry in the woods to the north. We were not able to identify it, but it freaked the leucrotta out. The ranger, who had been engaged in a lengthy conversation with us trying to explain why his name was spelled “Imohar” but pronounced something like “Gary”…even though it looks like it should sound more like “I am her”. Whatever. He was able to calm the leucrotta down enough to get us to the keep.
Once there, we made our way around, exploring the shops and services, acquiring quarters and healing up. Tharsis, the priest, however, came down with the most unbelievable case of an illness related to Montezuma’s Revenge; now known by the upset chambermaids at the Inn as “Explosive Lava-butt Disorder”. While he stayed in the Inn attached semi-permanently to a chamber pot, we explored the town.
Much wheeling and dealing was done in the town. Koyten disappeared for a while under some guise or ruse, that predicatably ended up with him setting the portcullis on fire. A little later and Koyten had managed to set the roof of the Merchant’s Guild on fire, presumably in an attempt to assassinate Mendel. A minor exchange with some angry keep guards and a cloud of sentient bees shaped like a man, which we believe was sent by a disgruntled druid, and we were back on track. Koyten, just for good measure, tried to stab the bee-man thing. It didn’t work, in case you were wondering. Anyway, we gathered all the intel we could in the keep (after a little drinking and gambling) and prepared to do some exploring.
The first night, possibly brought about by the fumes from Tharsis, Imohar the ranger, had a dream about a large cat stuck in a trap in the woods nearby. We broke with our established tradition of ignoring the DM’s hints and set out for the woods to see what was what. A nasty fight with some spiders and we later find a dead man hiding in a hollowed out tree, and the ranger, sure enough, was able to rescue a puma….or mountain lion….or whatever it was, from a trap. (Andy says it was a cougar.) They became fast friends. Koyten found an unusual and evil looking box of black wood that he quickly tucked away and refused to open. A magical dagger and a few other pieces of loot were found.
We also explored a bit of area to the northeast, finding it filled with giant spiders and even more giant-y spider webs. It took a while to clear the area out, but the ranger, the new fighter Robert and Ingrid proved their worth yet again, taking down the lion’s share of the angry spiders. Koyten conveniently hid in the shadows and did….more hiding in shadows. Zaphael took down a couple of spiders before taking a shot of spider venom to the face and spent much of the time facedown in the mud hallucinating, a description I am certain the DM drew from his own real world personal experiences. Once everyone had recovered sufficiently, we burned the webs out and looted several corpses we found. By “loot”, I mean we decently and humanely buried them with all the ceremony and care possible.
But not before looting them dry!
The big winner was the big woman. Ingrid got a magical shield, that really, is a minor artifact. It is also intelligent and will likely prove to be a pain later. The male fighter, Robert, found a funky bastard sword that has changing bonuses based on how sharp it is. Most everyone had leveled to some degree, so we headed back to the keep to do some shopping, restocking and copying of spells from some of the inhabitants of the keep.
We recruited an NPC priest from the temple to act as our pocket healer. We went to check out the graves at the crossroads and found that the three we had left there were now empty. Nothing odd about that. We poked around the other 40 or so graves present and could not help but notice that various skeletons and zombies began to rise from them. We assumed their intention was malice and decided to run away screaming. The tactic proved effective…except for the pyromaniac Koyten. He found a shadow and hid in it, and dragged the shadow to the forest nearby. While in the shadow, he found some kobolds in a nearby shadow and obtained some valuable intelligence about some nearby caves that need explored. Naturally, he hid this information from the party.