Heading South-West from the Temple of the Elk the group explored the nearby forest hex, coming across a portion of the forest that had sunk into a swampy mire. Two dilapidated stone buildings that had partially sunken into the bog had apparently been turned into the home of a single Boggard named Garuum (who had a mangled hand) and his pet Slurks.
Croaking out the words “Truce! Truce!” upon seeing the approach of the strangers the party attempted the diplomatic approach. Unfortunately this turned out to be the first intelligent creature they had encountered whose language they did not know. “Boggard” was apparently a relatively new, or at least very rarely encountered, race of frog-people that spoke their own language. Valerie and Alanea made a note to look up any information of Xen’drik explorers encountering this species so they could attempt to learn the language.
With Garuum barely knowing any words in common things were going nowhere fast until Valerie’s player passed along the Moment of Clarity Plot Twist Card, allowing Garuum to understand and speak a language perfectly for 10 minutes. Suddenly concentrating hard as if remembering long forgotten lessons about this “common” language, Garuum opened negotiations.
The solitary Boggard mentioned that he lived here by himself, didn’t want to hurt nobody and didn’t want anybody to pester him and his slurks. Live and let live was his creed, especially after mentioning that his hand was mangled after “challenging the king”.
The group of course had no issue with this Live and let Live ideal and offered to even bring him items to trade in the hopes of forging a better working relationship. Garuum didn’t have much to barter with, but he did have information to trade with…so Alanea left him some rope, a crowbar, and a shovel to help make his swampy home slightly less crappy and in return Garuum mentioned that he knew of a big statue of a man with an Elk Head off to the west.
And in return for future tools Garuum also mentioned that there were “big lizards” living at a ford in the river to the south west.
With this new information gained the group decided to check on these “big lizards” figuring they were likely these Tatzlwyrms that Frank was offering a reward for…as it turns out they were right!
The river wasn’t very deep at the location they found with a number of sandy fords dotted across the water would allow for an easy passage to the other side of the river. And sunning itself lazily on a warm rock in the middle of the river was a Tatzlwyrm! Apparently it was unaware of the intruders on its territory as Valerie snuck up on it carefully and delivered a coup de grace that instantly slayed the creature…and the wyrms death cry summoned up the other two creatures that had been hiding amongst the rubbish and flotsam that had gathered into a sort of natural dam on the river!
Despite their renowned ferocity the quick thinking and tactics of the group made quick work of the other two Tatzlwyrms with a shocking grasp strike from Tarvis and some combined strikes from Alanea and Korin. Sidney continued his random streak of firing arrows that may or may not hit anything.
With the Tatzlwyrms dealt with and some creative uses of Make Whole by Sidney the group had three intact heads to bring back to Frank. Not only that but they found some treasure buried in the flotsam/rubbish that the wyrms had made their home in. Some magical Scale Mail, a nice masterwork cold iron longsword, and some coins and other trinkets.
(it was at this point I reminded my group of how low-level magic items work in Eberron – in my interpretation at least. Due to the abilities of the Dragonmark Houses and the different levels of technology and wealth assumed by the setting, obtaining magical weapons and armor of a +1 or +2 bonus can usually be found in any decent city. What you are actually buying in this case is a Dragonshard that has the magical enhancement within it. When a weapon or armor is made “masterwork” the actual cost is in creating a series of runes and inlaid design connecting the item to a dragonshard slot, effectively a Materia slot. So a +1 or +2 Dragonshard attuned to armor can be switched back and forth between suits of armor that have been made in the modern day. Magical items of higher quality or enhancement are considerably more rare and are often the source of explorations discovering ancient magical items of historical and cultural significance)
That said the skeleton was an explorer, likely from Stormreach, that had been mapping his way down the river until he got “Tatzled” as Tarvis put it. His magical enhancement on his Scale Mail was given to Valerie since she wound up in melee a lot.
Not wanting the heads to start decomposing the group headed back to Oleg’s and made some trades.
Frank gladly bought the supplies from the group and informed them their light warhorses and magebred donkey would likely be arriving in two to three days.
The true treasure they found from the skeleton however was the map the poor soul had been working on. With his rough sketches of a nice triangular area of the north west area of the Greenbelt, the group headed west after realizing they could likely explore this area at nearly twice the time it would normally take to create a working map. Not only would it help explore areas faster, but it also mentioned encountering a “group of frogs” at the base of a river.
At first the group encountered a series of bear traps that had been filling an entire area of their map…recklessly posted and without any survival markings to warn fellow hunters or trappers that there were deadly traps setup nearby. Tarvis suffered an attack by one of the bear traps but afterwards Valerie was able to quickly disable all the traps they found.
Korin: “Fantastic! We have bear traps to sell to hunters now!”
Tarvis: “You do realize these already belong to a hunter right?”
Korin: “And we’ll have plenty of traps to sell to him now.”
Whoever the trapper was that set these reckless death traps up, some poor fool suffered an untimely demise as they found a dead trapper that had his legs crushed under a falling log in a nearby hex, his outstretched hand desperately trying to reach his hand axe that was just barely out of reach. Valerie noticed that apparently the rope that had been holding up the logs were prematurely cut…by something very tiny…and they knew that their fae friends Perlivash and Tyg-Titter-Tut lived very close to here…hmmm…
His ID papers read “Breeg Orlivanch” and the party gave him a cairn burial. This may very well have been the douchebag that setup all those bear traps, but even a douchebag deserves better than being left to the wild elements of Xen’drik.
Deciding next to check on this “group of frogs” indicated by the map they found they traveled to the base of the river and discovered a huge natural hot spring that three giant frogs had made their home.
Alanea: “We should probably take care of these things. They kinda eat everything that can fit in their stomach.”
Korin: “Guests, children, paying customers. Nope, can’t have that.”
Despite their gigantic maws three large frogs proved no match for the ranged attacks of a determined group of adventurers, but not before Alanea was momentarily swallowed by one. It had been weeks since the party had a proper bath and they all relaxed in the hot springs that night.
Refreshed the group headed back to Oleg’s once more for additional supplies and picked up their newly arrived horses and magebred donkey with an absurdly strong ability to carry and drag weight.
Tarvis: “What should we name it?”
AND THUS A LEGEND WAS BORN
Frank also mentioned a couple Kobold came by about a day ago. They didn’t consider them hostile since the group mentioned members of the Sootscale might be coming by…they inquired as to whether or not the “scaleless friends” had determined a symbol to represent their clan or not yet.
The group discussed it for a while and settled upon a prototype symbol…an open scroll with a crossed quill and sword underneath it.
The group headed south out of Oleg’s, finally encountering the Fangberry Thicket that Bokken had been looking for and discovering the reason for its name. The berry thicket was also covered in a thick layer of wispy spider webs.
Tarvis sent an Unseen Servant into the thicket to try and gather the berries which quickly attracted the attention of the Fang Spiders that lived inside the thicker – spiders the size of a mans thumb with twin serrated fangs. Unfortunately for the spiders they could not damage the Unseen Servant – so while Tarvis kept the spiders busy Korin snuck around to another side of the thicket and took his time gathering the berries despite occasionally being cut by the thorned bushes.
With the berries gathered, we will pick up here next time!
8400xp divided by 5 = 1,680xp Each