Still fresh from having defeated the crazed bear the group was a bit in awe at the sudden transformation of the holy site.
The magical healing properties of the pond were even more appealing however. After searching the rest of the site and discovering ancient rites for worshipping “Balinor” written in Giant across the inside of the cave they camped out for the night and decided to keep exploring the Stolen Lands for now. While they intended to eventually bring Jhod Kavken back to this site to fulfill their deal, there wasn’t really a time limit on it so they might as well keep going.
Heading South-East from the Temple of the Elk the group encountered another area covered in forest and explored it over the course of the day – coming across a number of broken pine trees that have formed a natural kind of shelter and within it a large boar easily bigger than their horses. This must be that deadly boar we had heard about – Tuskgutter! Determined to make the kill and claim the reward the group charged into battle with Valerie landing incredible blows with her sneak attack.
With Tuskgutter murderized and the temptation of actual food staring them in the face the group set to removing the head (to give to the old hunter that put up the request) and raised the rest of the carcass into the very shelter that had been the beasts home and smoked that delicious ham. Hundreds of pounds of bacon and pork were cooked that night and a real meal was enjoyed by all.
Well with two quests now completed and not wanting to let the head of Tuskgutter start decaying anymore than necessary, Sidney rigged up a carrier out of some nearby supplies and some of the fallen trees and attached the head to Korin’s horse. The rest of the bacon and pork filled the saddlebags of the other horses and the trip back to Oleg’s Trading Post began!
Unfortunately the group was not alone on their way back to Oleg’s. The smell of the large burning porcine as well as the literal hundreds of pounds being taken back to the trading post caught the attention of a group of wolves that began tailing the group ever since they crossed the ford at the Bandit Camp.
What was strange about these wolves was the color of their pelts. Rather than a brown or silver coat of fur, these wolves seemed to be almost a grassy-green easily blending in with the natural colors of the forest. Realizing they were either being driven into a trap or simply being followed until the rest of the pack could catch up to them. Deciding to take on the wolf pack on their own terms the party halted and tied up their horses mere moments before the wolves attacked. Three normal sized wolves charged into battle, one leaping upon Tarvis who struck it with magic missiles and the other two striking at Korin’s horse as it carried the giant head of Tuskgutter behind it.
Suddenly a giant pair of jaws emerged from a tree near Korin’s horse! A Dire Wolf that must have been leading the pack and with the same grassy coat clamped down its jaws on Korin’s horse, savaging it and dragging it to the ground! What the hell was with these wolves!? How could they move through trees as if they weren’t even there!? Xen’drik is messed up.
Despite their strange abilities in the end they proved to be just animals. After slaughtering the three smaller wolves, the leader realized it was in over its head and let the horse go – retreating back into the forest to live another day. Without further delays the group arrived back at Oleg’s and started some wheeling and dealing – adding much of their pork and bacon to the Elk Stew that was brewing for dinner. Much rejoicing was had.
Jhod Kavken was informed of the location of the Elk and would travel with the group in the morning to the site.
In the meantime Valerie took the two surviving bandit prisoners aside and bribed them with bacon and jerkied-pork to teach her how Kressle spoke – her mannerisms, tone of voice, anything that could help her master her disguise.
Deciding it was time to get horses that wouldn’t be tempted to run off into the forest at the mere possibility of being mauled by giant wolves, they asked Frank to order them some Wartrained Horses as well as some Magebred Donkeys purposefully designed to be a better beast of burden.
Tarvis’ masterwork quarterstaff finally came in as well!
The next morning arrived and after taking Jhod with them back on the road they traveled back to the Temple of the Elk.
“It’s true” said Jhod “My dream was real. Balinor really did send me this vision.” The middle aged priest was nearly brought to tears as an Elk calmly appeared out of the nearby brush and shared a spiritual moment with the cleric as if symbolizing a connection with their respective deity.
“I won’t stay here long…at least not until I can officially begin repairing a place like this. But thank you. If you ever have need of the blessings of Balinor, I will be happy to oblige.”
Two Quests resolved. The Stag Lord still at large. Hundreds of miles of the Stolen Lands left to explore. A storm is beginning to gather on the horizon.
Quotes of the Session
Alanea: I don’t think your horse is supposed to be shivering. on the state of Korin’s poor horse after being savaged by a Dire Wolf
Korin: Nonsense it’s like a massage mode. completely unsympathetic
Total – 3400xp
Divided by 5 = 680xp Each
Edit: Adding in an additional 600xp for completing “The Sacred Statue” from the previous session. +600xp
Total – 4000xp
Divided by 5 = 800 each