7th of Pharast, 4710
The day is drizzly, with a driving wind.
At noon, Thierry seeks out Oleg and Kesten Garess to have a meeting. The guard are waiting to rotate out, but their replacements are late. Kesten’s not worried … yet.
Oleg has an old anvil, unused for 10 years, but Talor’s willing, but there’s no forge.
A lot of visitors have come by the trading post over the past few days. They avoided the place before our arrival, believing it wasn’t safe as the bandits had robbed Oleg at least twice in the past. Our arrival, and recent activities seem to have changed that belief.
Oleg is looking forward to the new guards and everyone is hoping they bring supplies as the influx of people is hard on Oleg’s larder.
Kesten wants our two extra horses, but admits it will be some time until he can fully pay for them. The young master agrees to the sale so long as Kesten remains responsible for feeding and housing the two horses from now on.
Oleg agrees to sell the goods we’ve taken off the bandits. He promises to get us as good a price as his contacts will allow. In return we will hire locals to acquire us charcoal, wood, horse feed and the like. It’s an interesting way to start a community; as if we’ve planted a seed in a fertile field.
Xene was out picking up field stones (with the help of one of the mules), when she spots a large convoy of a dozen or so soldiers and a large cart. Xene got back to the trading post before the caravan; not only did it include the soldier’s replacements but also Baron Harris Drelov with a dozen people in a delegation. He came in riding Maelstrom, one of the Mareshal horses sold to his family.
The delegation comprises four groups of people traveling together. The Baron’s company of men (and pack horses and a cart), 2 guardsmen from the Swordlords, Militia who were escorting a card with a third man who’s bringing in supplies. The third man is Xene’s father — Brother Jhod.
Thierry visits briefly with the Baron and learns the Baron has his company is heading east to the Slough and the Sellin River. He hopes to expand their family’s holdings to the south and overcome the bogarts that are bothering the trade route. The Baron orders Thierry to move our horses out and his into the shelter while he’s there. The Baron quickly decides that they will not be staying long. Apparently the trading post is a bit too rustic for the Baron’s tastes.
Brother Jhod is on a pilgrimage. He’s been haunted by reoccurring dreams. He’s never followed his dreams before, as he’s always been bogged down by his regular duties. His dreams
Kaylee and Xene help settle the horses. Maelstrom and Caliber are in fine fighting order. The two stallions object to the other’s presence; and moving the horses around seems to have only stirred things up further. Once Arion is brought out, she helps settle the herd. When Kaylee rides Caliber out to calm him down, the rest of the herd settles and we are successful in changing out the horses.
On her way back, she and the Baron chat. The Baron and his men leave an hour or so later. The new guards and Brother Jhod are introduced around.
We spend the better part of the rest of the day in building the shrine to Erastil using the Elk’s skull from Theirry’s last hunt, and some field stones. It’s a poor structure, but it’s made with our labors.
8th of Pharast, 4710
It’s overcast and the snow is quickly melting.
In the morning we dedicate the shrine to Erastil, prepare and ride out; leaving the guards and Brother Jhod behind.
As we crest a hill, we find a clear trench of trampled snow. Something’s not quite right. The trench was made by 2-3 giant humanoids. The footprints seem humanoid, but they are massive and have claws on their toes. They must be 9-10 feet tall and at least 200 pounds. Kaylee thinks it was trolls; they passed by early this morning.
We travel on, deciding that we are ill-equipped to handle Trolls.
We come upon a low tor of rick where we find the bones of old kills. In looking for tracks, we find a dead humanoid wearing leather. Kaylee finds some tracks. Suddenly the carcass shifts and shudders and something below lifts up. It reaches out and grabs at her. It’s a large spider. It ducks underneath Caliber’s hooks and locks its mandibles around Kaylee’s ankle.
The spider is black and red and dog-sized. It takes another swipe at Kaylee as Tamarie moves away and dismounts. Kaylee kicks it off and backs away. We ride off and Xene treats Kaylee’s ankle.
Thierry leads the charge back, and using his lance, opens the trap-door to the spider’s lair. As the rest of us are readying to fire arrows into the spider, it appears up over the rock behind Thierry. Xene calls out his name as she fires at it and hits, as do Kaylee and Tamarie. It eventually works its way back into its pit; Theirry drops a torch down after it.
Thierry then explores the “dungeon”. He finds a corpse at the bottom and we haul it up. The corpse is of a male human. The body is desiccated. It wears leather armor, and carries a short sword, leather baldric, and a small pouch containing 0 gold coins. He is wearing a silver stag skull amulet. In his pocket is a scrap of paper. It has a drawing of a claw-shaped dead tree atop a barren hill, with a red X at the roots.
We head further south and go further into the Camelands. We make a late camp in the overhang.
9th of Pharast, 4710
We continue exploring. After a few hours we come across the five-fingered blasted tree. It’s like a giant shadow looming out of the ground. It’s dead, blasted by lightning and is on a low barren hill.