Before leaving the caverns beneath the old Sycamore tree, we go back and kill the centipede eggs. It’s quite a struggle to crawl back out the muddy tunnels and fighting against gravity. We put the dead mites in the ravine and take the Kobolds with us.
After offering Erastil our thanks, we head back to camp with Mikmek and his three dead brethren. We camp 1 mile south to avoid any mite-raiding parties returning and possible restless kobold dead.
We take watches. During the young master’s watch, he wakes us. Aryan’s uncomfortable but not barking.. Hoarfrost has found us. With Tamarie’s aide Mikmek and Horefrost talk. Horefrost argues that Tartook is in charge of the tribe and not their proper chieftain, Sootscale. But the idol we carry is their sacred idol. If it is destroyed, then the tribe will suffer greatly. Mikmek believes their scales were turn yellow and fall out. The young master decides not to destroy the idol tonight. Instead we will go and talk to Sootscale.
It dawns a cool, dry but overcast day.
We pack up and set out early. We head south towards the Kobold encampment. We travel over more cames and south-flowing streams. A few hours into the day, we come across a battle site of 5 Kobolds and three mites. The Kobolds have been lined up beside a knee-high pile of rocks. There are six black birds circling and as many more fighting over food.
We gather the dead and bring them along, ignoring the seriously complaining crows. Riding on, we eventually come to a series of oddly piled rocks. We pass the remains of funeral pyres and scorch-marks on a ground scattered with ashes.
When we arrive at the encampment, we find it nestled between two cames. At the far end of a natural valley, there’s a tumble of rocks. A scaffold-like structure stands before it. The young master sends Mikmek out with a message that we want to talk.
The young master makes himself comfortable on his folding chair and waits. It’s 15 minutes before a kobold comes back to us with an invitation. We ride to the cleft, and leave our horses in Conrad’s care. There is a caged mite hanging off the scaffold. He begs to be let out.
We are led to a bunk-room where Sootscale and Tarturk stand along with half-a dozen kobolds, including Mikmek. Negotiations between the young master and Sootscale fall apart when Tarturk somehow makes Sootscale look like he is yellowing and aging before our eyes. We are able to scare off and knock-out the kobolds and the young master and Tamarie slay Tarturk. Horefrost came in and chased after Tarturk’s crow familiar.
When Sootscale awakens, the young master tries to continue negotiations. Sootscale demands to get the idol and then destroys it. After further discussion, Svetlana’s ring is found and brought to us along with a masterwork light metal kite shield bearing the Develan family standard. The young master, as chieftain of the humans, promises a “long peace” between the human tribe and the kobold tribe. Sootscale agrees.
We take Tartuk’s body, meet back up with Conrad and ride off. We hope Horefrost is OK, but he did not come out with us.
The evening in the Rostland planes passes without incident and gives us a chance to forage for food.
We break camp to another beautiful day, leaving Tartuk’s body out for the wolves.
It takes most of the day, but we make it back to Oleg’s for dinner. Veckle and a pair of trappers are in residence.
Brother Jhod and I talk at length about Paladins of Erastil, and what the young master could become. Kaylee presents the bent and broken tea pot to Veckle.
We sit down to dinner and share stories. Svetlana knew a Tartuk. The name means Beloved of the field in gnomish. Tamarie intends to study his journal further.